Details have been released on the Rinspeed Etos Concept that will bow next month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The latest show car from Rinspeed boss Frank M. Rinderknecht's fertile imagination is a hybrid-powered autonomous sports car based on the BMW i8. Wrapped in custom body panels and crowned with a thin, light Gorilla Glass top, the Rinspeed Etos also uses that material to serve as the launch/landing pad for its personal mini drone used to run errands or just shoot on-road video. Fitted with 12,000 individually controllable LEDs, that platform can serve double duty as a rolling electronic billboard. 

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Finished in bright yellow and rolling on 20-inch alloy wheels, the Etos also is equipped with eight high-def cameras that provide a detailed 360-degree surround view and interfaces with infotainment/connectivity systems from Harman and NXP that facilitate both active driving and fully autonomous operation. The Rinspeed Etos features a unique cabin treatment highlighted by a steering wheel that automatically retracts into the car's custom dash when not needed and a pair of 21.5-inch HD widescreen monitors that offer brilliant 3D imaging and present a whole new range of information from routing details to advice regarding potential dropout zones for cellular phones. 

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The Etos complements its real-time links to traffic infrastructure and car-to-car systems with an E-Horizon that further augments its ability to serve up timely warnings about potential wrong-way drivers or other hazards. It also uses a "gaze-tracking" system to monitor where the driver's eyes are looking to provide notifications about potential threats that may not have been seen. While intrigued by the concept of fully autonomous vehicles, even Rinderknecht admits there's much to be done on numerous levels and that the process of actually making them happen "will be a long rocky road."

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