Soon your car will be divided into a 'skateboard' and a 'pod'. Wait, what?
At the last Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas motor show, Rinspeed unveiled the Oasis concept. The Oasis is an autonomous “urban sphere” made of glass with a Virtual Reality display, in case the future world of autonomy doesn’t feel quite real enough. Now it’s released a teaser of this coming winter’s Vegas centrepiece – the Snap. The Swiss carmaker calls it a “comprehensive mobility ecosystem that also offers stationary use.” Err, what?
So, Rinspeed’s theory is that future autonomous cars will quickly be unusable because their autonomous brains will be outdated. Technology will be difficult – if not impossible – to update as systems and software become obsolete. Think how often your sat nav needs plugging in for an update.
While we’re sure Tesla et al have already got this covered, Rinspeed has come up with its own solution. The Snap comprises two parts – the main wheels and chassis bit – the ‘skateboard’ – and then the cabin – the ‘pod’. When the skateboard is outdated, worn out, lost and confused, you can pop the pod on top of a new skateboard. This keeps the main mechanical components easily accessible for regular refreshes and upgrades.
This also makes the pod timeless, personable, friendly… whatever adjective you want. You can make it your home on the move, or you can pop it out anytime you like to use as “a contemporary office in the heart of the city”.
It’s a crazy idea, but maybe there is some truth in the skateboard components needing more attention as technology advances. What do you make of the Snap?