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Autonomous Vehicles: Highlighting the Driver at Geneva Motor Show 2014

December 11, 2013

While the world's major OEMs are focusing on the technology needed to make vehicles autonomous, Swiss design firm Rinspeed is looking at how the driver will use the new technology.
While the world's major OEMs are focusing on the technology needed to make vehicles autonomous, Swiss design firm Rinspeed is looking at how the driver will use the new technology.

While the major automakers are putting the finishing touches on their autonomous vehicle technology, the Swiss idea factory Rinspeed puts the occupants at the center of the driverless car.

Rinspeed boss Frank Rinderknecht: “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 Swiss company has provided the answer with a fully electric touring sedan by the name of “XchangE.” The vehicle features all-new seats reminiscent of the relaxing business-class seats of major airlines — with similarly elaborate functionality. And 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, according to Rinspeed. 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.

Occupants can read, listen to music, surf the web, play games, watch movies in brilliant picture and sound quality or hold a meeting at 120 km/h and work on computer files. As Rinderknecht put it: “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”.

The Geneva Motor Show will take place March 6-16, 2014. The Rinspeed “XchangE” is the 20th proprietary concept vehicle of the Swiss “Think Tank” and “Mobility Lab”.

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