Switzerland-based engineering firm Rinspeed, renknowned for its out-of-the-box concept cars including the underwater-drivable sQuba, has announced a self-driving sports car concept – the Rinspeed Etos. It will be unveiled at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (2016 CES) that will take place in January 2016. It is the twenty-second concept to come out of their stable.
The Etos concept car is purely for show and there are no plans for production yet. Frank M. Rinderknecht, the founder and CEO of Rinspeed states that “major and especially the disruptive innovations in future automotive engineering will come from the digital realm.” The Etos is the Swiss firm’s way of interpreting the future of automobiles.
Not much is known about the concept except that it will have a hybrid powertrain and an ‘autonomous’ mode too. The company claims that the exterior has an “innovative” surface finish, which is completely alien to car designers. The rear portion is especially interesting as it houses a landing pad that is used by a ‘drone’ that comes with the car. This drone, Rinspeed says, can deliver a bouquet of flowers or take a video of the driver enjoying the car on the twisties; this video can also be streamed live to friends.
When the car is put in autonomous mode, the steering wheel will retract into the dashboard and the two curved windscreens will come closer to provide the occupants with a better view. Rinspeed has used Harman’s Connected Car Technologies for its infotainment needs. The company says that “it’s like a personal assistant that operates in a thinking, courteous and anticipatory manner to deliver perfect entertainment, connectivity and maximum safety.”