A Dazzling Cabriolet


SOL 174

March 2044

Zizu Motors has revealed the automaker’s two-door convertible flagship vehicle, the 2045 Z12 Cabriolet, at the Beijing Auto Show. 

Zizu Motors was the first automaker to enable Level 5 autonomy in China.

Zizu Motors started in 2015 as a subsidiary of Chinese internet giant, Sesame Interactive, to compete with Tesla and all other electric vehicle automakers. Today, Zizu has the second highest number of luxury electric vehicle sales, just behind Tesla. The company was the first automaker to enable Level 5 autonomy in China. By leveraging the well-developed electric vehicle infrastructure in China, Zizu proved to be a major hit with Chinese consumers. The company quickly expanded to the Middle East and Europe, soon capturing significant market share for luxury electric automobiles in both markets. 

Since 2027, every Zizu has come standard with Level 5 autonomy. In fact, Level 5 autonomy is included in every car made manufactured today—most countries require Level 5 autonomy to be included in every new car sold. Most owners choose to engage their vehicle’s autonomous capabilities to reach their destination without driving themselves. Recent studies have shown that only 22% of car owners self-pilot, or physically operate their vehicle themselves, more than once a month in China—self-pilot rates are lower in the United States and Europe. Most of these self-pilots have the “enthusiast” classification on their driver’s license, while many also own rare gasoline powered vehicles (owners of gasoline-powered, non-autonomous vehicles are required to take rigorous "enthusiast" driver classes and examinations).

The company predicts that customers of this car also plan to self-pilot the car, unlike the majority of its offerings.

The Z12 Cabriolet is a unique car for Zizu Motors, since the company predicts that customers of this car also plan to self-pilot the car, unlike a majority of its offerings. In order to accommodate clients that wish to self-pilot their vehicles occasionally, the Z12 Cabriolet will come with a host of assisted-driving features that enable the driver to self-pilot their vehicle safely in autonomous traffic. These assisted-driving features give the owner control over the vehicle, however, if the autonomous driving aids notice any unsafe conditions or driver inputs, the vehicle’s computers will assume full control over the car. In fact, 32% of autonomous vehicle accidents in the United States take place as a result of self-piloted vehicles not flowing and mimicking the behavior of autonomous traffic. 

The Z12 Cabriolet uses translucent red Melania&Co Martian stone—stones that are polished with a Martian soil compound.

One of the primary features of the Z12 Cabriolet is the use of translucent red Melania&Co Martian stones—stones that are polished with a Martian soil compound—in the interior and rear brake lights of the vehicle. Melania&Co has become a market leader in “Martian jewelry” (generally red colored jewelry that uses dyes, minerals, or materials from Mars) and this partnership with Zizu Motors is a response to consumer demand for Mars inspired products.

President & CEO of Zizu Motors Middle East, Peter DeHaas, highlights that “our Z12 clients desire something unique in their cars. We received feedback from our clients that they want to see us integrate aspects of the Red Planet into our automobiles, starting with the use of Melania&Co’s Martian stones in the interior and exteriors of our marquee cars. We think of ourselves as modern coach builders and we are excited to create the first automobile to be truly inspired by Mars, as our company identifies with the ideals of our Martian sistren.”

Standard Zizu Z12 Cabriolets will start at $989,999 USD, with the Mars-inspired Z12 Cabriolets starting at $1,490,000 USD.

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Sierra has been a writer for The Martian Passage since 2037. She writes about science and technology.