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Rinspeed speeds into future with Σtos

Distinctive two-seater highlights autonomous operation, connectivity

Published: October 11, 2015, 5:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 1:35 PM

Rinspeed Etos

Rinspeed is ready to introduce its newest concept, „Σtos“ – a hybrid car rich in technological engineering – at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in 2016.

“The major, and especially the disruptive, innovations in future automotive engineering will come from the digital realm. That is why all major manufacturers and suppliers are now present at the CES Consumer Electronic Show,” said Frank M. Rinderknecht, Rinspeed’s Founder and CEO, on the decision to hold the car’s debut outside Switzerland (where it has historically debuted its new models in connection with the annual Geneva Motor Show).

The two-seater uses innovative surface finishes for a distinctive look inside and out, and in line with current concept development, Rinspeed is focussing on autonomous operation. In „Σtos“ (a stylized brand for Etos), that means an intuitive and adaptive autopilot that’s capable of learning what drivers have to do and what they can delegate to the machine to do.

Rinspeed Etos interior

For example, the interior adapts in relation to the driving situation. In fully autonomous mode, the steering wheel folds and retracts into the dashboard, while two curved widescreens (one that doubles as the instrument panel in front of the driver, the other the infotainment display in front of the passenger) move closer to the occupants for better viewing and optimal touch control.

To personalize the interior experience for cabin occupants, Rinspeed partnered with Harman to deliver entertainment, information and connectivity through a system that works much like a personal assistant – intuitively and anticipatorily – while still maintaining safety as its core property.

That all seems pretty normal for a concept car, but then Rinspeed goes one up with a drone that flies off a helipad located behind the cabin. The obvious use of an onboard drone would naturally be to film the car during driving and then use the onboard Wi-Fi to push the footage, or stream it as it’s happening, online. However, with future developments for drone technology, Rinspeed also envisions the ability to fetch an online purchase, say a bouquet of flowers, and deliver it to its intended recipient.

Etos is the 22nd concept from the Swiss company that also created the modular Dock-plus-Go Smart-conversion, the hydrofoil Splash, and the submersible sQuba.