The Concept

The Rhyolite is an autonomous car that can alter its interior to make full use of its augmented reality bubble window. When it’s travelling on a scenic route, the Rhyolite’s rising cockpit can be dynamically adjusted to provide a comfortable panoramic view that’s ideal for tours and sightseeing.

Origin of the Idea

Last summer, I travelled from Las Vegas to San Francisco by car. We passed through fantastic scenes in Death Valley, Mammoth Lakes, and the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest (Sonora Pass) to name a few. For this particular trip, I would’ve like to ride inside an autonomous car to enjoy the fantastic scenery with my family (that I couldn’t watch because I was driving!); hence this concept. The name Rhyolite comes from a ghost town we visited along the way…

How It Works

The Rhyolite is designed to emphasize the passengers’ viewing experience. The electronic seating would be able to provide 360-degree rotation and give the four passengers a full outside view through a distortion-free bubble window. The seat would follow the passenger’s gaze and let him intuitively look around, whether for touring or simply consulting augmented reality data or multimedia.

The canopy section (bubble cockpit) would automatically adjust in height depending on the Rhyolite’s speed. In sightseeing mode, the middle frame would raise, thus keeping the wheels’ top portion out of the passengers’ field of view.

Speaking of the wheels, the current design would allow the vehicle to lean into curves and provide a tight turning radius. In order to provide sharper turns, an inline wheel design (Similar to the Siroco concept) has also been discussed, but it would require a whole new chassis. The Rhyolite has no driver’s seat, giving each of the four passengers plenty of space to move around or lay down when seats are aligned.

What It’s Used For

The Rhyolite would be the traveler’s ideal rental car for scenic routes. It could provide a perfect means of transport to explore cities, canyons, deserts, coastal roads, etc. The driverless car could be programmed to cruise alongside touring attractions and display historical information directly on the panoramic windshield. Additional multimedia content from local museums or historical societies could also be displayed to encourage travellers to drop by.

Alternatively, the car could also be purchased independently as a luxurious limousine or simply to commute in style with other passengers.


The Rhyolite concept was imagined in July 2017 by Charles Bombardier and the images were created by Akash Choudhary. Akash studied design at the DSK International school of Design and works as a freelancer in New Delhi, India.