Tame the city jun­gle

Rin­speed adds a lit­tle gar­den un­der the wind­screen for a calmer com­mute

The Witness - Wheels - - ELECTRIC -

SWITZER­LAND’S mav­er­ick ve­hi­cle de­sign stu­dio Rin­speed has re­vealed more de­tails about its Oa­sis au­ton­o­mous con­cept that will ap­pear at CES 2017 and the 2017 Detroit Auto Show in Jan­uary.

The vi­sion­ary Frank M. Rin­derknecht al­ways pushes the bound­aries when it comes to reimag­in­ing mo­bil­ity and his “Oa­sis” car is no ex­cep­tion.

Rin­derknecht said in a state­ment the self-driv­ing elec­tric ve­hi­cle aims to re­fute the no­tion of an ur­ban jun­gle that re­quires SUVs to nav­i­gate.

His al­ter­na­tive is a fast small car that parks eas­ily and even of­fers a mini gar­den be­hind the wind­shield.

In the state­ment, Rin­derknecht said the self-driv­ing Swiss ve­hi­cle is not a wall­flower or strictly func­tional like the Google Car, but rather “next gen” — with a host of tech­ni­cal and visual treats in­side. The con­cept car was again en­gi­neered by Swiss com­pany 4erC and ex­e­cuted by Esoro.

Rin­derknecht has lofty goals for the tiny car. The com­pany be­lieves it can be a lit­eral oa­sis in the ur­ban land­scape, pro­vid­ing a peace­ful space that pas­sen­gers can en­joy be­cause they don’t have to drive. Rin­speed also views the Oa­sis as a com­pan­ion just like, it says, the Star Wars droid R2D2.

Like R2D2, the Oa­sis can spin around in place. The car does that with two in-wheel elec­tric mo­tors and a spe­cial steer­ing mech­a­nism.

Speak­ing of in­side: the ul­ti­mate Oa­sis is the small gar­den with enough space for grow­ing radishes or even lit­tle Bon­sai trees.

The ve­hi­cle is equipped with Har­man LIVS tech­nolo­gies (Life-En­hanc­ing In­tel­li­gent Ve­hi­cle So­lu­tions con­nec­tiv­ity sys­tem. In front of the re­lax­ing seats is the large dis­play with 5K res­o­lu­tion with voice- or ges­ture-con­trol that curves around the top of the dash­board along with a fold­ing steer­ing wheel.

The sys­tem ba­si­cally turns the Oa­sis into a per­sonal as­sis­tant, al­low­ing pas­sen­gers to check on their friends via so­cial me­dia, re­serve a ta­ble at a nearby restau­rant, or make Skype calls for work.

Th­ese fea­tures can also be ac­cessed out­side the car us­ing Har­man’s cloud.

Rin­speed views the Oa­sis as more than just a per­sonal car. The com­pany be­lieves it could also be used as a de­liv­ery ve­hi­cle, or even in both roles un­der some form of car-shar­ing scheme.

The Oa­sis will de­but at the Con­sumer Elec­tron­ics Show (CES) in Jan­uary 2017 and then will be dis­play at the Detroit Auto Show later that month.

It will also be on dis­play in the Swiss na­tional own front gar­den — at the 2017 Geneva Mo­tor Show.

PHOTOS: RIN­SPEED

The Oa­sis aims to tame the ur­ban jun­gle by mak­ing a small car with a gar­den ac­cessed through the wind­screen (in­set). Fresh wa­ter­cress, any­one?

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