Rinspeed XchangE Concept makes Geneva debut
Offering a unique take on the future of autonomous driving, the Rinspeed XchangE Concept is an electric-powered touring sedan that creator Frank Rinderknecht describes as a forward-looking combination office and living room on wheels. Based on a Tesla Model S platform, the XchangE Concept offers room for four with all the amenities of a business class airline seating in addition to its ability to provide hands-off point-to-point transportation.
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The XchangE Concept is the twentieth and arguably most adventurous vehicle to emanate from Rinspeed's uniquely Swiss "idea factory." Beyond exterior revisions that use aero-optimized body panels, a rainbow-hued Radiant plexiglass roof and custom 20-inch alloy wheels, the XchangE Concept bristles with advanced tech touches that ensure constant contact with the outside world while providing those within plenty of work/play possibilities. Key to its real-time "Car2X" communications is superfast and secure LTE connectivity provided by Deutsche Telecom. It interfaces with an equally hack-proof, HTML5-based scalable infotainment platform developed by Harman International and a Linde-crafted intelligent access control system that uses RFID technology to identify the authorized driver(s) and transmit all critical logged data back to the Cloud.
Thanks to the XchangE's full drive-by-wire capability, its TRD-supplied multifunction steering wheel can be positioned on either side of the car's highly interactive dash or docked in the center when not needed. In addition to individual gesture-controlled display screens dedicated to navigation, entertainment, assistance and services, the innovative dash also features a Patravi TravelTec watch housed in a unique power winder shaped like a transparent globe.
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Covered in natural fabrics with a relaxing blue/gray motif and set off by LED ambient lighting in the headliner, the XchangE Concept's cabin provides a near-ideal environment for on-the-go multitaskers. The individual seats offer 20 different configuration possibilities, from face-to-face formal to a leisurely lounge mode that allows occupants to kick back and surf the Internet, listen to music, play video games or take in a movie on the car's rear-mounted 32-inch 4K UHD monitor. And when it's time for a quick java jolt, there's an on-board espresso maker that folds away into the XchangE's center console.
It's too soon to tell how much of Rinderknecht's vision of automotive autonomy will ever manage to make it to the streets. But here's no denying the Rinspeed XchangE Concept presents some intriguing possibilities for a driver-optional tomorrow.
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