Car designed around driverless reality

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IOL mot dec11 Rinspeed concept


The cabin of this futuristic concept was designed for everything but driving.

With many car companies predicting that driverless cars will be on sale to the man on the street by the end of this decade, we can't ignore the idea that the future of motoring could well mean bonding with your iPad or passengers on the way to work rather than focusing on the task of driving.

Yet all the autonomous vehicle prototypes that have been created thus far have been based on existing cars and their conventional cabins that were designed around a driver than needs to concentrate on the road ahead.

Yet what if a car was designed from the ground up as an autonomous machine? Suddenly the whole interior concept could undergo a radical shift, allowing the now largely unburdened driver make optimal use of the time gained.

This is exactly what Rinspeed has done with its XchangE design study.

The concept has seats reminiscent of the relaxing business-class seats of major airlines - with similarly elaborate functionality.

It also uses a completely new operating and display concept with a glut of innovative entertainment, safety and service functions.

All passengers can enjoy a wide variety of media or access in-depth information. And to make sure the steering wheel is not a hindrance while doing so, it can simply be 'parked' in the middle of the dashboard, courtesy of state-of-the-art steer-by-wire technology that can also be found on modern jet aircraft.

According to Rinspeed, the vehicle will allow you to “read, listen to music, surf the web, play games, watch movies in brilliant picture and sound quality or hold a meeting at 120 km/h and work on your files.”

Home Jeeves.

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