Following a preview in October, Rinspeed has released new details about its upcoming microSNAP concept.
Set to debut at CES early next year, the microSNAP is essentially a smaller version of the previous SNAP concept. The model has the same dimensions as the Renault Twizy and is an autonomous electric vehicle that has been designed for transporting goods and people.
Like the previous SNAP concept, the microSNAP rides on a skateboard chassis that houses the concept’s powertrain and autonomous driving system. A variety of different pods can be installed on top of the chassis and they include everything from a two-person passenger pod to a delivery pod which can be used to transport food or packages.
The video even shows the microSNAP being used without a pod. Instead, it has been outfitted with a raised platform that allows the concept to deliver larger items such as bicycles or motorcycles.
Since the microSNAP consists of two distinct components, they can be swapped out on demand. Cars can last for decades, so the same skateboard chassis could be used for ten or twenty years. The pod, on the other hand, could be swapped out more often to ensure the car remains equipped with a modern interior that features the latest technology.
The microSNAP was designed by 4erC and it has been outfitted with micro-pixel LED headlights and a digital license plate. The model also has exterior lights that communicate with other road users.
While the passenger pod doesn’t look too interesting, it’s surprisingly high-tech as it has dimmable windows, an iris scanner and interior lights that adapt to the mood of the occupants. The pod also boasts leather and knitted fabric upholstery as well as a 49-inch curved LED display for entertainment purposes. Speaking of entertainment, the pod has two separate sound zones so passengers can each listen to their own music or entertainment program without disturbing the other.
If that wasn’t impressive enough, the microSNAP recognizes passengers and will instantly personalize the vehicle to match their preferences. Rinspeed says this allows the concept to feel like a user’s personal vehicle even if it is owned by someone else.
Users can also operate the concept simply by speaking to it. The model also supports popular voice assistants such as Alexa, Cortana and Siri. Even Samsung’s Bixby is supported, so it’s strange that Google Assistant is missing.
Regardless, Rinspeed wants to put the microSNAP into production and the company is talking to investors about getting the concept on the road.