What is Skoda Vision E?
Skoda signalled its intention to join the electric revolution by developing its first all-electric car when it showcased the Skoda Vision E concept car at the recent Shanghai Motor Show. The Vision E is a five-door SUV coupé and is predicted to be able to travel around 300 miles on electric power while also meeting level 3 autonomous driving, which we will cover in more detail further on.
Skoda Vision E Concept Car
The Vision E will be the first electrically powered car in Skoda’s history and at 4,645 mm long, 1,917 mm wide and 1,550 mm tall it has great design features and bold presence. Thanks to the elevated seating position typical of SUV models and the generous interior space, combined with a gently sloping roof line the styling resembles that of a GT Coupé.
The claimed electric motor output of 225 kW will accelerate the Vision E quite rapidly before achieving a top speed of 112mph. The powerful lithium-ion batteries allow a range of up to 311 miles and thanks to intelligent management, the two electric motors combine to drive all four wheels.
The Skoda Vision E five-door SUV Coupé is designed to allow for autonomous driving at level 3. On motorways the autopilot system enables the concept car to accelerate, steer, brake and even avoid obstacles while the Car Park Autopilot finds free parking spaces and directs the vehicle into the bay automatically. This is achieved by various sensors and numerous cameras constantly monitoring the traffic situation.
When can we buy an electric vehicle from Skoda?
ŠKODA’s electric vehicle line-up is scheduled to begin in 2019 with the launch of the ŠKODA Superb plug-in hybrid (PHEV). The first electric only vehicle (EV), based on the Vision E concept is planned shortly afterwards in 2020. Within the next seven years Skoda plan to expand its range to include five electric cars.
It is predicted that around 15 percent of all new cars could be driving completely autonomously (level 5) by 2030, but what are these different levels of driving autonomy? The various levels of autonomy are a progression of features and range from none at all through to fully-autonomous driving and are as follows:
Level 0 = No automation, includes cars with cruise control where it's still up to the driver to change speed when catching up with another vehicle
Level 1 = Adaptive cruise control, when you catch up to another car your car will automatically slow to match its speed with no intervention from you. Lane Assistance also falls into this category where the system will gently guide your car back into your lane if you deviate
Level 2 = Partial automation will manage both your speed and your steering under certain conditions, matching your speed to the traffic ahead and following curves in the road. The driver must still pay attention and take over immediately if the conditions exceed the system's limitations
Level 3 = Conditional Automation where the car, rather than the driver, takes over when the system is engaged for example navigation through traffic jams at lower speeds but the driver must be prepared to intervene once the traffic clears and speeds increase
Level 4 = High automation where a self-driving car will be able to handle most driving tasks on its own, but will still require driver intervention from time to time, during poor weather conditions or other unusual environments, therefore the cars will still require a steering wheel and pedals
Level 5 = Full automation where drivers only need to tell the car where to take them. The car can drive itself anytime, anywhere, under any conditions and no driver intervention should be required at any time
At this moment in time the highest level of driving autonomy achieved to date by any vehicle manufacturer is only Level 3!