CES 2019 saw Swiss automotive firm Rinspeed unveil its latest offering, the microSnap, a two-seater vehicle that its makers claim has the same dimensions as a Renault Twizy.
Like its predecessors, the microSnap, which is Rinspeed’s 25th concept car, was designed by Swiss company 4erC and constructed by Esoro, which also handled the technical implementation. The robotics system and the automated loading aid system come from Kuka, based in Augsburg, Germany.
Osram has supplied the lighting technology, including the digital license plate and a micro-pixel LED, which makes dazzle-free high beams possible. The exterior lights communicate with other road users while the interior lights adapt to the driver’s personal mood with the help of health-tracking functions. The headlights of the microSnap feature state-of-the-art LED technology and innovative product solutions from Prettl Lighting & Interior. Propulsion is provided by a 48V traction motor from Mahle.
The basic idea for the Snap and the microSnap is the same. According to Rinspeed founder Frank M Rinderknecht, while the bodies last as long as a car does today, the chassis contain all the components that are subject to wear and aging, such as the computer technology for autonomous driving. The bodies are recycled after a few years, having reached the end of their service life, avoiding an expensive and complicated hardware update.
Both vehicles benefit from a host of connected-car technologies from Harman, including connection to the Harman Ignite Cloud platform via 5G telematics, sensor fusion, and the Harman Shield Automotive Cybersecurity Suite and over-the-air updates. The microSnap uses multistage authentication and instant personalization to welcome users. It is operated during the trip by commands given in natural speech. Passengers can use whichever virtual assistant they are accustomed to.
The intelligent digital cockpit adapts automatically to the passenger. In the case of the microSnap, visual interaction is provided by a curved 49in LED screen spanning the entire width of the vehicle. Acoustically the two-seater pod can be divided further into two separate sound zones. This Harman technology enables both passengers to listen to different music or entertainment programs at the same time, without either feeling disturbed.
A number of other suppliers were involved in the creation of the microSNAP. Among them were MHP, which worked on the intelligent mobility ecosystem, and SAP, which used a soft-ware platform to optimize transportation through data analysis, machine learning and the IoT. Gentex contributed an iris scanner for occupant recognition, while the sensors came from Ibeo Automotive Systems. The microSnap is equipped with a ‘joysteer’ drive-by-wire system from Swiss company Bozzio.
Visitors to the 2019 Geneva Motor Show will be able to see Rinspeed’s microSNAP for themselves.