Rinspeed’s take on the autonomous car will be better than flying

Drive-by-wire technology means that the steering wheel can be moved along the dashboard. - AFP/Relaxnews pic, December 13, 2013.Drive-by-wire technology means that the steering wheel can be moved along the dashboard. - AFP/Relaxnews pic, December 13, 2013.While other manufacturers are working to develop road-sensing technology and autonomous parking apps, off-the-wall Swiss car creator Rinspeed is more concerned with how the driver and passengers are going to make the most of their time once the car is taking care of the driving.

As Rinspeed boss Frank M. Rinderknecht explains: “So far hardly anyone has taken this to its logical conclusion from the perspective of the driver. After all, travelling 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.”

Rinderknecht believes the logical conclusion is a cabin that more closely resembles a business class than a family hatchback.

Called the “XchangE” the car has been built in partnership with 21 other companies and organisations and will make its full debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, where all will be revealed. But in the meantime, Rinspeed has released some images and little bit of information to whet people’s appetites.

The reclining seats can be moved and turned so that all occupants can face each other for conversation, while the steering wheel can be moved into the middle of the dashboard to save space, thanks to drive-by-wire technology.

The idea being that a family can play games or watch films together or colleagues can hold a meeting with multimedia presentation at speeds of over 120km/h.

As such, Rinspeed believes that in the not-too-distant future, cars like the "XchangE"  will replace the train or even the short-haul flight as business and leisure travellers’ preferred means of transport. - AFP/Relaxnews, December 13, 2013.


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