The Opel Monza and Renault Initiale Paris are among the latest show vehicles signaling a trend by designers to zero-in on a few advanced features, rather than overwhelm consumers with more complex models.
A Continental Automotive study shows U.S. consumers saying they would pay a premium of $1,500 for features such as automated driving on freeways and in heavy traffic, while Germans would pay twice as much.
To reach series production, Schaeffler, Ford and other co-developers must lower the cost of each part, conduct functional safety and environmental testing and document the technology for potential customers.
The competition calls on university students in teams of two to five to develop features that will make cars of 2030 more intelligent and intuitive, and with the potential to revolutionize the automobile industry.
Concerned about losing jobs to lower-cost countries, France has countered with the PFA industry coalition and two main efforts to advance automotive technology: autonomous vehicles and the affordable, high-fuel-efficiency small car.