Mike Stevens | Nov 23, 2011

In the early ages of the computer era, even before the silicon chip, science fiction writers and futurists foresaw a world of personal jets and self-driving cars.

Those days aren't here yet, but we're getting closer.

Volvo has been working on a 'road train' system that turns regular cars into computer-piloted carriages, and internet giant Google is making serious headway with its own autonomous driving technology.

For the Autonomo 2030 concept though, industrial designer Charles Rattray has cast his mind 20 years forward to imagine the shuttle-like autonomous vehicles of the future.

Rattray says the Autonomo concept has been designed to carry either one passenger in a relaxed, legs-flat position, or two passengers in a tandem arrangement.

autonomo 2030 concept 07

The concept instantly brings to mind films like The Minority Report (remember that ultra-sleek Lexus 2054 concept) and I, Robot (the Audi R8-previewing RSQ concept)

The Autonomo 2030 measures 3634mm long - a touch longer than the MINI Cooper Hatch - but at just 1925mm wide, two Autonomo vehicles will fit in a regular car parking space.

Thanks to the autonomous computer-controlled driving system, the concept can also drive side-by-side with another Autonomo vehicle in a regular road.

As with any far-future imagining, the Autonomo is a blue-sky concept that focuses on style, comfort and revolutionary infrastructure that is likely much further away than the year 2030.

As a glimpse of one possible future technology however, Rattray's concept paints a compelling picture for the average commuter: a computer-navigated vehicle that relies on a host of sensors to ferry occupants to work, giving us time to watch the news and chow-down that rushed breakfast at a more leisurely pace.

Check out the video below to watch the Autonomo 2030 concept in action.

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