The Driverless Cars are coming soon to a showroom near you. It might take few years or a decade but the science fantasy of the past will become a reality. Google, BMW, GM, Toyota, Ford, IBM and others have been working feverishly on this technology to bring these cars to the marketplace in a short order.
Recently, a Driverless concept car called “The Xchange” was shown at the 2014 Auto Show held at Geneva, Switzerland. The car is developed by Rinspeed, a Swiss think-tank headed by CEO Rank Rinderknecht.
According to Frank “travelling in a driverless car will no longer require me to stare at the road, but will let me spend my time in a more meaningful way. The question then arises, would I like to work, to sleep, to read, to do whatever activities you might do on a train, a plane?”
Rinspeed took a Tesla Models S car and reconfigured the interior where seats can swivel, tilt and slide into 20 positions thus enabling passengers in the front to turn and face those in the back or even lie back and watch a Science Channel on 32-inch TV.
The steering column could be moved into the center for easier use of an information and entertainment system running the full length of the dashboard. There are two pivoting LCD displays to surf the web, check emails, or video conferencing. Everything is fully connected to the world with real-time information and cloud services. Rinspeed has even managed to fit in an espresso machine for a quick body jolt.
Although the Xchange is an experimental car, Rinspeed worked with various sub-contractors to prove that the concept is viable. Frank sees a convergence of automotive technology and artificial intelligence as “an enabler of a new industrial revolution”.