Over the past quarter of a century, Swiss-based vehicle tuner and self-styled ‘mobility think tank’ Rinspeed has treated visitors to the annual Geneva Motor Show to an increasingly bold and distinctive series of one-off concept cars, ranging from modified Porsche 911s In the early days, through to a submersible modified Lotus Elise and a Mercedes C-Class-based extendable roadster, which can be contracted from a four- to two-seater to make it easier to park in short spaces.
At CES Rinspeed is set to excel itself by displaying the Etos, a bright lemon-coloured self-drive concept, with custom bodywork based on the carbon-fibre and aluminium frame of BMW’s advanced i8 electric hybrid coupe.
The Etos concept will feature a fully autonomous ‘driving’ mode, bolstered by eight HD exterior cameras that constantly track all surrounding objects and people. It automatically links to, and communicates with, city infrastructures and other vehicles to anticipate slowing and stationery traffic, and it can even monitor mobile ‘phone reception levels to notify occupants of impending traffic grid locked routes.
If an occupant of the Etos decides to take the wheel of the car — which electronically extends out of the dashboard to greet the occupant — the vehicle’s gaze-tracking system monitors the occupant’s eyes to reduce redundant alerts and increase safety.
As if this is not enough, Rinspeed’s Etos is also equipped with its own personalised drone, which can peel off from the vehicle to pick up a bouquet of flowers or take selfies from the air! Once such errands are completed, it returns to its integrated landing platform, which consists of 12,000 individually controlled LEDs that can also be used as a message board. Ingenious stuff…