the “Snap,” presented at the CES in Las Vegas in early 2018, Swiss powerhouse
of ideas Rinspeed for the first time presented a vehicle, where the chassis
(“Skateboards“) and bodies (“Pods”) can be swapped out at any time.
company head Frank M. Rinderknecht shrunk the “Snap” into the “microSNAP” with
the dimensions of a Renault Twizy. And for the first time, Rinspeed
demonstrated a fully automated robot station that joins and separates chassis
and bodies autonomously. Experts refer to this step in car production where the
chassis and the body come together as the mating of an automobile, except here
it is not for good, but only for the time of the intended purpose.
far as the Swiss automotive visionary is concerned, the days of large delivery
vehicles that serve customers in sequence like pearls on a string over the
course of the day are over. Because online business is booming and now includes
the fresh food sector as well, the Swiss national believes in small autonomous
vehicles that swarm out and bring their goods to the customer without detours
and ‘just in time.’ It couldn’t be faster or more simple - even refrigerated or
heated. However, his vision also includes two-seater ‘robo units‘, which take
the shortest route to convey their passengers to their destination efficiently
and in comfort.
startup is now on the drawing boards and talks with investors are underway to
put the “Snap” on the road. Be it the “Snap” or the “microSNAP,” the basic idea
is the same: While the bodies last as long as a car does today, the chassis
contain all the components that are subject to wear and aging, such as the
computer technology for autonomous driving. “Skateboards” (chassis) and “Pods”
(bodies) are only temporary companions for brief periods. Various types of
bodies use whatever skateboards are currently available. The skateboards are
recycled after a few years, because they will have reached the end of their
service life. They thus elegantly avoid an expensive and complicated hardware
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