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Wednesday, December 16, 2015

5 Things to Know About Rinspeed’s Self-Driving BMW i8


Copyright © 2015 Bold Ride LLC.

The BMW i8 has long been billed as a “car of the future,” what with its hybrid powertrain, infusion of carbon fiber, and stellar sports car performance. But now, thanks to a bit of fettling by the forward-thinking folks at Rinspeed…it really is a car of tomorrow. 
Meet the Rinspeed Etos—the autonomous, drone carrying BMW i8 that you never knew you wanted. But of course, now do.

Like most of Rinspeed’s engineering endeavors, the self-driving Etos is a concept vehicle, and a bit “out there” to say the least. Nevertheless, there are some very unique features it displays which may soon find their way to your next car.


It’s Learning from You…

Not only can the Rinspeed Etos drive you somewhere autonomously, its infotainment system is described as like a personal assistant, rather than say, an iPad. It can learn from your habits and over time anticipate your commands, which will help reduce the tedium of pressing the same buttons or dialing up the same screens repeatedly. It is a bit creepy though.

It’s Watching You…

Creepier still (but also rather neat) the Etos permanently tracks a driver’s eye movements in order to gauge what they have seen, and more importantly, what they’ve missed. That’ll come in handy when you want to take your Etos out of autonomous mode and tap into its BMW i8 performance roots. It also means the exterior side mirrors (video screens) will only project images when you look at them.

Yes, It Has its Own Drone

Drones have become pretty popular these days, and it’s clear that Rinspeed is aware. The Etos features its very own DJI drone and associated drone landing pad. What do you do with said drone? Ingeniously, Rinspeed says it can run errands while you’re in the car, such as picking up a bouquet of flowers, or it can be programed to take mobile selfies. Ah, the selfie.


The Interior is Wild

Between the retractable steering wheel, high-end Swiss clock, book cubby, giant 21.5 inch HD monitors, and leather upholstery, it’s safe to say the Rinspeed Etos has one interesting interior. The image of the San Francisco skyline stitched into the seats is still a mystery, however.
You Can Tip People With a Swipe

Remember those mirrors that don’t show anything unless you look at them? Well, they can also be used to pay a bill or tip someone. According to Rinspeed, all it takes is a swipe on the mirror to securely make a small “on the go” payment. Now that could catch on.

Need a closer look? The Rinspeed Etos concept car makes its debut at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) on January 5 in Las Vegas, Nevada.