A vehicle that moves completely autonomously without a steering wheel for the driver and thanks to the collaboration of numerous technical partners able to offer personal assistance solutions through systems based on artificial intelligence. But the real fulcrum of this idea concerns the separation between the passenger compartment cell, called "pod", and the mechanical part used for moving, "skateboard". The project belongs to the innovative Swiss car company Rinspeed and takes the name of Snap.
Rinspeed is not new to futuristic visions for the future, indeed Snap its twenty-fourth concept car. It is specialized in the recovery of old cars and in the preparation of modern cars and it is usual to present every year a concept car for the Geneva Motor Show.
The recycling concept of components is at the heart of the new concept from Switzerland. Skateboard in fact more subject to wear, but after some years of intensive use, once reached the end of its life cycle, can be safely recycled without the same fate must necessarily be applied to the pod, which instead can remain in service for much longer.
The new concept car was designed by the Swiss company 4erC and technically implemented in Esoro. The vehicle, completely electric, equipped with a series of technologies from a large network of technological partners. ZF, for example, provides the two steering axles along with the electric powertrain, ensuring the Snap the possibility to turn on itself and not produce emissions that are added to those typical of urban traffic.
The Snap uses alloy rims of type 7×18 supplied by Borbet, optimized in weight and covered by tires of size 205 / 40-18, designed to contain fuel consumption. And able to run for 100 km, with a speed above 80 km / h.
The US Gentex makes available its iris scanners for the recognition of people on board, while the glasses are dimmable, mirroring those that can be found on the Boeing Dreamliner. Instead, the Lidar sensors for autonomous driving come from the Hamburg company Ibeo, while the autonomous driving platform allows the skateboard to move to the city assembled by Harman.
The leading European company software company for SAP contributes with a series of applications that monitor occupant health and traffic situation. And TomTom provides HD maps for autonomous driving and navigation technologies, while the Israeli startup Valens HDBaseT Automotive is responsible for the secure and fast transmission of data at the base of high-definition multimedia contents usable in the passenger compartment.
Inside the cabin there is also a personal assistant in the form of an autonomous robot that can help with commissions, transport of purchases made or other tedious operations. The intelligent personal assistant also recognizes the voice commands and the current personal tastes, preferences and habits of each of the people with whom it interfaces. For example, based on this data, he could physically lead her to a restaurant of his liking.
Rinspeed Snap provides secure communications to the outside world and a high-speed connection to the Harman Ignite Cloud platform. 5G, Car2X, radio tuner, BT and WiFi are sufficient for the management of communications of any kind. The transmission of data and information is tested and certified by Dekra, a global point of reference in the field.
Rinspeed Snap is a vehicle that complies with the level of automation 5, ie it is a fully autonomous driving vehicle. Added to this is the need to guarantee the maximum possible protection of personal data. To this end, there is a three-level user authentication, based on the desired personalization. A token unlocks the vehicle and personalizes the displays, while the personal cloud content is available after identification by facial recognition. Furthermore, a third level of biometric identification is required if the passenger's health data are to be recorded and analyzed.
Each passenger has three displays available with personal content and messages that can be accessed via the touch interface. Two large, centrally located screens provide information on the route and at the same time allow the viewing of films and other multimedia content. The Lexicon surround sound system with Ambisonics Escape signal processing completes an endowment that is also comprehensive on the multimedia front.
Snap uses 6 projectors to communicate visually with the outside world: for example, it can indicate to a pedestrian who can proceed to cross the road. Do not miss a series of technical innovations concerning aesthetics, such as internal LEDs that emit ultraviolet light to destroy any bacteria and improve hygiene, or digital plates. They come from the American company Techniplas, leader in the design and production of engineered products for mobility. In fact, the well-being inside the passenger compartment is a crucial factor for new-generation self-driving vehicles that car manufacturers must pay close attention to.
As for the spaces, Rinspeed Snap offers four seats in the 4 meters and 68 cm of the pod, with an important pitch of 3 meters and 25 cm between the two axles.
At CES and at the Geneva Motor Show it will be possible to check if Rinspeed is talking about things that could one day become real, or if everything is still too futuristic.