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The Rinspeed Etos is a BMW i8 That Drives Itself and Comes With a Drone

16 Décembre 2015 - Autoblog

The Rinspeed Etos is a BMW i8 That Drives Itself and Comes With a Drone

Outlandish as they can be, we've grown accustomed to seeing Rinspeed unveil its avant-garde concept cars at the Geneva show every year.

But this time the Swiss studio will present its latest showpiece outside of its native country, taking the veil off at CES in Las Vegas. It's called the Etos, and takes the advanced concept of the BMW i8 even further.

Frank M. Rinderknecht and company designed the Etos around autonomous technology. Now if you're wondering why anyone would need a self-driving sports car, we're with you. But if Rinspeed is out to capture our attention, the svelte shape, eye-catching yellow paint, and 20-inch Borbet alloys have certainly done that much.

Recognizing the transformation possible in the cabin of a self-driving automobile, Rinspeed fitted the Etos with a retractable steering wheel. That allows unfettered access to a pair of 21.5-inch ultra-HD widescreen displays hooked up to a connected infotainment system that learns from the driver's (or occupant's) habits to minimize the necessity to manually input information. No less than eight exterior cameras work in conjunction to all but completely eliminate the notion of the blindspot. But like so many mullets festooning the streets of Las Vegas and the slopes of the Swiss Alps alike, the party trick is found around back.

Not unlike a megayacht with a helipad, Rinspeed fitted a remote-control helicopter on the rear deck that can be used for anything from selfies on the go to retrieving packages along the driving route. The drone lands on a platform with 12,000 individually controlled LEDs and covered in Gorilla Glass furnished, as with the glass roof, by Corning. Combine the drone with the ability to pay tolls and other charges through NFC signal while charging your phone inductively, and the driver/occupant may never need to get out of the car unless he or she wants to (and the singularity controlling all these systems permits). Fortunately Rinspeed made the interior a comfortable place to be, filled with niceties and distractions from a watch winder on the dashboard to the ceramic and titanium trim to the San Francisco skyline stitched, for some reason, into the seatbacks.

Few of these features strike us as strictly necessary, and the most outlandish of them (we're looking at you, drone) will likely never be implemented on a production automobile. And what features do will likely find their home in more accommodating vehicles than a two-seat sports car. But show cars like these are made to capture our imaginations, and the Rinspeed Etos has clearly done exactly that. We'll look forward to seeing it at CES and at the Geneva Motor Show to follow.

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