For the first time ever, Frank
M. Rinderknecht, boss of the Swiss idea smithy Rinspeed, will be celebrating a
world premiere outside his Alpine home with the hybrid sports car
"Etos." The Rinspeed "Etos" will celebrate its world
premiere at the mega electronics show CES in Las Vegas. Its European premiere
will be at the Geneva Motor Show starting March 1, 2016.
Rinderknecht says: "The
digital world will provide the major and above all the disruptive innovations
in automotive engineering. That is why nowadays all major car manufacturers and
suppliers are present at the CES Consumer Electronics Show."
The automotive thinker
together with consulting firm EY expressly puts one question on the agenda that
is bound to occupy us for quite some time: How much human component should,
must or may there be in a machine? Everyone involved realises that answering
this question requires merging expectations, tolerances and acceptance. There
are countless unsettled issues, for example the morals and ethics of a machine,
that need to be resolved. In addition, the means for the technical realization
also must be developed. Rinderknecht ventures a prediction: "This process
will likely lead to an adaptive, learning and intuitive control software. But
it will be a long rocky road."
The technical highlight in the
interior of the "Etos" is no doubt the folding and retracting
steering wheel from ZF TRW. As if by magic, it disappears in the dashboard in a
few seconds. This creates lots of space in front the driver who can grab and
read a book in comfort the old-fashioned way or can work in a relaxed
atmosphere. The position of the two curved 21.5-inch Ultra HD widescreen
monitors is individually adjustable to provide an even better view of the
A matching fit is provided by
the unrivalled infotainment experience that the innovative Harman Connected Car
technologies conjure up in the vehicle. Just like a personal assistant, the
system thinks along, is courteous, anticipates needs and on top of that
provides perfect entertainment, connectivity and maximum safety. Destinations,
route selection, tourist attractions, refueling, parking, making phone calls,
music, videos or personal preferences - with every mile the "Etos"
gets to know the appointments, wishes and needs of the occupants better and in
a flash proactively offers up the particular fitting selection options. This
drastically reduces the number of distracting manual entries - despite
significantly expanded functions. Should it nonetheless be necessary to enter a
command, the "Etos" responds promptly to voice commands, gestures,
touch input, controller or the push of a button.
A total of eight HD exterior
cameras visually monitor the vehicle surroundings completely. This makes
impressive 180-degree panoramic views in front of the vehicle and behind
possible and provides virtual "exterior mirrors" with an expanded
field of vision that has no blind spots. People and objects in the entire
vehicle surroundings are detected and tracked automatically. If they represent
an accident hazard, the driver receives an appropriate warning. In tricky
situations such as in parking garages, the so-called "Curb View" is
activated automatically. It offers a "direct" view of the front
wheels and thus helps prevent unwanted contact with curbs or other obstacles.
The vehicle navigation also offers entirely new detail views. In parking
garages, it directs drivers directly to a previously reserved parking space.
Along the route, it displays realistic 3D images of buildings, trees, bus
stops, subway stations and other distinctive waypoints. The roads and lanes
have been scanned with pinpoint precision – an essential prerequisite for
autonomous driving. Linking information about the route and the cell phone
reception results in the passengers in future not only knowing where and how
long they can expect to make phone or video calls without interruption, the
technology also allows smooth media streaming as well as efficient and targeted
vehicle updates. The seamless link to the traffic infrastructure such as
traffic lights or traffic management systems and to other cars, especially emergency
response vehicles, lets drivers and the vehicle look far beyond their own
horizon and even through obstacles. The so-called 'E-Horizon' provides
innovative safety and convenience features such as precise warnings of
wrong-way drivers or simply gliding along smoothly in sync with the phased
traffic lights. Speaking of seeing: The gaze-tracking system of the
"Etos" permanently monitors the driver's eye movements and as a
result, the vehicle not only knows what the driver has seen, but also what he
has failed to see. This allows custom tailoring the displayed warnings and
notifications. For precisely this reason, the electronic exterior mirrors only
display an image when the driver consciously checks them. The HMI was designed
and programmed by Luxoft. Georg Fischer Automotive supplied the aluminum
lightweight-construction frame for the three displays.
The "Etos" is fitted
with an on-board DJI drone complete with landing platform in the rear. An
armada of 12,000 individually controlled LEDs can transform this platform into
an electronic message board or a visual dancefloor. This technical marvel was
designed by Swiss specialist Weidplas, which is also behind the rear window
that has been converted into a third brake light and the brilliant seat inlays.
The drone itself is capable of providing some very useful services. For
example, it can quickly pick up a bouquet of flowers for the significant other
ordered on the way home. And the little flyer is a lot of fun when it acts like
a UFO, shooting a selfie of the ride in the "Etos" on your local
favorite route and streaming it live to friends. Heads up: that little thing
has an extremely high addiction and envy factor!
The elegantly and
futuristically styled "Etos" - on the technical basis of the BMW i8 -
is a sustainable but also a fast racer. The deep black and shiny 20-inch Borbet
GTX aluminum rims leave no doubt about that. They give the body an imposing
visual width and provide perfect handling on the track. To make the athlete as
light as possible, Corning manufactures the glass roof and the "drone
pad" in the rear from especially strong, lightweight and thin Gorilla
glass, the same kind used in smartphones. The aluminum front structure and the
carbon fiber passenger cell are joined together with ultra-high-modulus
adhesive from Sika.
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