GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – One of the world’s most creative car inventors – for he is far more than a designer – is about to bring the driverless car to the 2014 Geneva Motor Show. Granted, it’s not ready to roll out, but Frank Rinderknecht, head of the Rinspeed Swiss “Think Tank” and “Mobility Lab” says it’s time to ask the right questions about the car of the future
“So far hardly anyone has taken this to its logical conclusion from the perspective of the driver. After all, traveling in a driverless car will no longer require me to stare at the road, but will let me spend my time in a more meaningful way.’
The key question, for Rinderknecht, is: How does the interior of a vehicle have to be designed to let the now “largely unburdened driver make optimal use of the time gained?’
You can see where he is headed with this during the Geneva Motor Show 6 to 16 March 2014, when he will present his 20th proprietary concept vehicle at the show.
The Rinspeed “XchangE” is a “fully electric touring sedan with all-new seats reminiscent of the relaxing business-class seats of major airlines, with similarly elaborate functionality.”Drivers may soon be holding meetings rather than the steering wheel, while heading down Rinspeed’s autoroutes
Few secrets of the sedan are being revealed before the show, but Rinderknecht tells us “it uses a completely new operating and display concept with a host of innovative entertainment, safety and service functions. This makes it possible to work or relax in particular comfort while riding in the driverless car. 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.”
Rinspeed’s advance publicity says we will be able to read, listen to music, surf the web, play games, watch movies in brilliant picture and sound quality and hold meetings while traveling at 120 km/h.
Rinderknecht sums it up: “I am given free time that I can use for myself anyway I please, while the sensor systems and the computer chauffeur me safely and reliably to my destination.”
Sell tickets and it’s called public transport; go alone and it’s private, but beyond that, they are starting to look alike.