A special concept EV to showcase an intended future production vehicle has been designed and prototyped by Rinspeed.
Named Budii, this concept will be shown at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and will include autonomous driving technology.
The electrically powered concept is intended, said Rinspeed, to become the driver’s “best buddy,” and its autopilot the perfect chauffeur that quickly adapts to the habits and preferences of its “boss.”
To this end, “Budii” will feature, according to Rinspeed, a host of innovations, which following a long-standing Rinspeed tradition will revolve around humans and their needs. In addition, it will take data from its environment and the “experiences” of other vehicles along its route into account.
According to Rinspeed founder Frank M. Rinderknecht, the breakneck speed of technical developments forces us to redefine our relationship with the automobile.
“Until now, what we have primarily associated with auto mobility was freedom and individuality,” said Rinderknecht. “And – consciously or unconsciously – we are prepared to pay a high price in many regards for these privileges. We need only look at the accident statistics.”
Rinspeed’s founder believes autonomous driving offers the opportunity to drastically diminish some of the drawbacks of private transport. For example, the number of traffic accidents could drop worldwide. But although it will be less prone to err than humans, even the best technology will not be perfect.
“That is something we will have to accept,” said Rinderknecht. “We should not develop a blind, but rather a healthy faith in the new capabilities of the hardware and software. They will keep learning each day, and as a result will get better and better at mastering the complex challenges of modern-day private transport.”
The Swiss company added it will show the world what such a learning and personalized “friend on wheels” might look like at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with the trans-urban “Budii” concept car.
The car for the city and surrounding countryside will handle the often inconvenient daily routine trips independently, while the “pilot” will still be able to take the wheel as usual on fun weekend trips, believes Rinspeed.
An interesting twist revealed by Rinspeed and found on the Budii concept: the steering wheel is supported by a sensitive robot arm, which enables both the driver and the front passenger to steer. And if nobody feels like steering, it is simply parked in center position.
“The transition from traditional to autonomous driving will take place in stages, said Rinderknecht. “Consequently, man and machine will still have a few years left to get used to this new form of mobility and the different interplay between people and technology it will entail, time they both will need.”
The Geneva Motor Show will be held March 5 through 15, 2015.
The Rinspeed “Budii” is the twenty-first proprietary concept vehicle of the Swiss “Think Tank” and “Innovation Lab.”
Budii is not the first concept built by Rinspeed that showcases autonomous driving technologies. The Swiss company showcased a fully electric touring sedan concept going by the name of “XchangE” at the 2014 Geneva Motor Show.