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Arrival offers an early look at its first electric car

Come, the Anglo-American startup hopes to revolutionize design and make belong to tram, is ready to talk about his first car. The Arrival Vehicle, as it is known, is designed, first and foremost, for the use of cargo drivers during their working day.

Many times the company doesn’t want to call it a taxi, this is more or less the Arrival car, an electric update for London Black taxi for the city of the future. But with some tweaking that means it’s smaller and more efficient than current cars, but still has plenty of room inside.

The car (capital-C) has been featured for a while, and back in May, Arrival announced that it was Cooperate with Uber to create a “purpose-built vehicle for carpooling.” It’s also an ambitious project, with the first models expected to roll off the production line in the next few days. Q3, year 2023.

Visiting Arrival’s Oxfordshire Headquarters, I was able to look and sit in, the Alpha prototype, but the company was a bit reckless in sharing so many of the same images. That is, in part, because it doesn’t feel like the first model, built in about six months, is an adequate representation of what’s to come. I was not allowed to take pictures of the car in all its glory, and instead, I was provided with a mixture of renders and close-ups of various parts.



Part of the reason Arrival feels so confident it can spin a car in such a short amount of time is that it’s standing on its own shoulders. After all, Vehicles use the same integrated EV sled platform developed for small passenger car and bus. It means that Arrival can, effectively, cut his skateboard to the right size and place any cabin structure on top.

Car Arrival is deep, a box on wheels with a focus on maximizing interior space for passengers. It looks like a French-made one small truck; you can easily picture a row of these parked outside a Saturday morning under-15 football game. But, because it completely rejects the need for aesthetics for the sake of aesthetics, it also pretty cool.

And despite the sci-fi style, there is something quite human in its design, something quite organic. Because the thrust is on the floor, no discernible bonnet is needed, so the windshield just melts into the chassis. There is a curved glass roof extending over the cabin, making the interior space feel airy and spacious.

A big focus, naturally, is on maximizing interior space and legroom, and I’ve seen visitor centers more cramped. Despite sitting on (near) the same footprint as VW Golf, The car may have more legroom than a London Black Cab (widely known). The front passenger seat can also be folded down and pushed forward slightly, if you need more room. The height also means it’s easier to step on and into this vehicle than clumsily crouching, which should help those with mobility issues.

The only problem with this first version, which will likely change in the second prototype, is luggage space. This first model has a rather small luggage compartment, designed for two large suitcases and two small suitcases and little else. But Tom Elvidge, EVP of Vehicle Platforms, believes changes will be made to improve this for the second prototype.

Gamma car rendering arrives


Arrival’s custom software platform controls the system and Vehicle has Tesla Model 3-esque 13-inch screen mounted in the center of the dashboard. That’s fine for localization, as this will need to be accommodated for left and right driving models. But it also eliminates some of the clutter that drivers share that can sometimes clutter their vision.

Another driver-focused benefit is the fact that the car has been designed to be comfortable but not full of sophisticated materials. Of course, a lot of this is still in the flow, but the prototype uses colourful woven fabric for upholstery and something spill-proof on the floor. With the risk of passengers dirtying the car, reducing driving time on the road, ease of cleaning is a top priority.

Those are early days, and Arrival still has the better part of two years to answer many of the important questions we have about the vehicle. Facts about the battery Capacity, range, speed and cost are all left blank as the company is now focused on perfecting the design. We know that there is no speed limit if you just go around city streets, as 10% of carpool journeys go to airports. And it should at least pass as a family hatchback when drivers aren’t working and want to use the car as a ride of their own.

Close-up of new car prototype


And, of course, cost will be a big factor in helping drivers abandon their existing vehicles. Arrival thinks the many improvements the company has developed will help it, but has yet to have specific numbers. With the number of taxi fleets accepted Priuses (and other Toyota hybrid) to help save even more from their fuel budget, you can imagine this is going to be a hit.

What we do know is that Arrival’s EV platform makes for an extraordinary driving experience and is fun to use. I was allowed to drive one of the test trucks around the company’s parking lot cum track and it was wild. This is a heavy duty UPS-style cargo vehicle that can be driven as easily and precisely as a go-kart. I’m sure a lot of professional drivers will enjoy the sense of connection to the road that this particular system provides.

Currently, Arrival is working to determine which elements from this first model don’t work and refine them for the second prototype. However, there is a lot of work to be done between now and the end of 2023, so we will wait and see how this plays out in the end.

Written by D. Cooper Engadget

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