NEVS' InMotion concept isn't just a self-driving car, it's a living room on wheels

National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS) is best known as the company that bought the remains of Saab after the iconic Swedish automaker went bankrupt in 2011. But this concept car doesn’t look like any Saab we’ve ever seen.

In fact, the NEVS InMotion concept doesn’t look like a car at all. Taking the idea of autonomous driving to its logical extreme, the InMotion concept is basically a room on wheels that lets passengers chill out while it drives itself around. Unveiled at CES Asia in Shanghai, it will almost certainly never see production. In addition to being fairly impractical, the company behind the InMotion is unstable.

A smartphone app allows users to adjust the interior’s ambient lighting, climate control, and the seats, which have three modes: Private, Social, and Meeting. Access to the cabin is through one large gullwing door. Not surprisingly for a design from a company called National Electric Vehicle Sweden, the InMotion concept runs on electricity, with wireless-charging capabilities.

In its press release for the vehicle, NEVS said the InMotion concept was designed for a future where shared vehicles are the norm, and car ownership is less popular. NEVS believes a vehicle like the InMotion could reduce congestion, and stay in motion (get it) so much that fewer parking spaces would be needed.

The idea of cars as living rooms on wheels is not entirely new. Volkswagen showed something similar at the 2017 Shanghai Auto Show in the form of its Sedric concept, and Honda unveiled its Unibox concept way back in 2001. If autonomous driving really does become mainstream, reconfiguring cars like this seems like a logical way to take advantage of the tech, and the free time it would create for users. But it’s unclear how safe vehicles like these would be in a crash.

Not that the NEVS InMotion concept will make it to production anytime soon, if ever. Since buying what was left of Saab in 2012, NEVS has struggled to put an electric version of the Saab 9-3 into production. The company now says it is on the verge of starting production at a plant in China, with all cars going to the Chinese market. But it’s still unclear whether NEVS can follow through with that plan, let alone build a more outlandish, futuristic car.