Rinspeed, the Swiss manufacturer and tuner that brought us cars that can drive over water, and dive under water, is at it again with a concept that takes into account just about anything that is desirable in todays socially-conscious world.
The Rinspeed Oasis (the company’s 23rd concept) is a self-driving, electric, 2-seat hatchback that also happens to be a greenhouse for a small onboard garden (in which, reportedly, radishes or bonsai trees can be grown) in the ultimate display of “Car & Garden” says the company.
But the interior goes beyond just a garden plot on wheels, it can also be looked at as a living room on wheels, with armchairs, a sideboard and an entertainment centre, all in a “natural” setting of wood, wool and leather, with some manufactured trim-bits thrown in and all stuck together with some innovative adhesives.
The Harman Kardon 24-channel entertainment system uses a slightly curving 5K display (yeah, you knew 4K was just a stepping stone …) the spans the width of the cabin and has multiple displays all controlled by voice or gestures. Part of the displays are the sideview displays that act as traditional side mirrors.
When not needed, the steering wheel folds flat to become a keyboard or workspace, which ties in nicely with the connectivity of the car — MS Office, Skype and Facebook are all pre-loaded and ready to use, and also accessible via a virtual personal assistant, able to understand and converse in multiple languages with either of the two vehicle occupants, seamlessly. The virtual assistant can live outside the car, too, through a Smartphone link.
It’s all run on the Blackberry QNX platform that is starting to become ubiquitous in the industry.
And you don’t have to worry about leaving the car parked somewhere when you’re in a day of meetings or flying out of town for a couple days. The Oasis’s full autonomy will enable it to pick up rides in a fashion similar to Uber, and it can even advertise its availability via social networks. And it will know to return to its owner’s location at the predetermined time to return him or her back home.
A touch of elegance, and history, is displayed in the Swiss watch integrated into the steering column. The Carl F. Bucherer made Manero Flyback chronograph is actually wound by the motion of the steering wheel.
The rear cargo area can be heated or cooled, depending on the service the vehicle is intended for (it can be customized with space saving solutions to satisfy a variety of service providers or goods deliverers. And, it can be fitted with a power bank to extend the range of the vehicle.
Oasis features two 40-kW electric motors (one in each 20-inch rear wheel), torque vectoring and a special steering angle to allow it to practically turn on a dime. The motors are driven by a 12kWh Lithium Iron Phosphate battery.
Oasis will be on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in January before returning to its home garden at the Geneva Motor Show in spring 2017.