Last week, legendary car designer Henrik Fisker tweeted out a cropped image along with the line, “An exciting Fisker product in a whole new segment coming soon. The future of mobility will change forever.” Based on what we could see in the photo, it appeared to be some sort of transportation pod. Turns out, that’s exactly what it is.
The actual reveal was overshadowed a bit by the Los Angeles Auto Show, but Fisker later tweeted out the full image, revealing what he calls the Fisker Orbit. It’s an autonomous shuttle designed for connected “smart cities” that Fisker says will be available as early as October of next year.
Fisker Orbit: Electric, Connected, Autonomous Shuttle for smart cities. First deliveries in Oct 2018! pic.twitter.com/WFB5bhZMif
— Henrik Fisker (@FiskerOfficial) November 30, 2017
Design-wise, it’s a little generic, employing a one-box shape that presumably maximizes interior space. Considering it’s supposed to be autonomous, that makes sense, but it would have also been nice to see something that looks a little less like it’s straight out of a sci-fi movie from the ’80s or ’90s. Even the window display, while probably a cool feature, wouldn’t have been completely out of place in “Total Recall.”
The biggest question we have, though, is where the autonomous driving technology will come from. If companies like Google’s Waymo and GM’s Cruise are only beginning to test their self-driving cars in crowded cities with ideal weather, how does Fisker plan to have the fully autonomous Orbit in production before the end of next year? And will the Orbit be able to handle inclement weather like a snowstorm?
Hopefully, Fisker will have more information for us soon because right now, this timeline seems pretty unlikely.