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Mobility ecosystem in a concept car

Some of its components can be ’snapped together’ and come from an international line-up of companies

Snap: its makers say the sum of its parts is greater than the whole
Snap: its makers say the sum of its parts is greater than the whole

Swiss car design innovator Rinspeed has announced its latest city runabout concept car which has been developed to be more versatile and eco-friendly, with a longer lifespan than other vehicles.


The autonomous electric vehicle Snap, so-called because the major components can literally be snapped together, features a high-wear “skateboard”-like chassis incorporating the drivetrain and a separate durable passenger safety cell (“pod”).


Snap will be debuted at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, January 2018.


Once the mechanical and fast-aging IT components renders the skateboard part of the vehicle outdated, the notion is that the “much less stressed” safety cell pod can be used again by detaching it from the chassis.


According to Rinspeed, this separation feature also means the pod can even be useful when removed to be deployed in several ways: “it can be anything from a variable shopping pod or a spacious camping pod to a ‘cozy cuddling pod’ and even provide a breathtaking, fully-connected user experience for the occupants of the passenger cabin,” it claims.


The 24th concept car from Rinspeed, designed at Swiss company 4erC and technically executed at Esoro, is also testimony to the truly international nature of the venture.


The two steering axles along with the integrated electric powertrain come from German car parts maker ZF. The twin axles allow for an extremely small turning circle.


The car is also reportedly brimming with sensors. For example, US firm, Gentex is contributing an Iris scanner for occupant detection as well as dimmable front and rear glass elements, which can also be found on Boeing’s Dreamliner.


Lidar sensors from Ibeo in Hamburg ensure that obstacles on the road are detected by real-time measurement of the light reflections, the company said.


Meanwhile, Dutch company TomTom provides HD maps for autonomous driving and navigation technologies that enable predictive driving for passengers’ comfort.


Finally, Israeli start-up Valens’s HDBaseT Automotive connectivity technology is responsible for the fast and secure transmission of ultra-high-definition, high-resolution multimedia signals between the numerous vehicle components.


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