The Rinspeed Budii concept will take pride of place on the Swiss company’s stand at this year’s Geneva motor show.
Rinspeed has given the BMW i3 a wide-body restyling and a host of new technology to turn the hatchback into a glimpse of what an autonomous vehicle might look like in the showroom.
The thoroughly reworked interior features a steering wheel mounted to a robotic arm. In self-driving mode, the arm and wheel fold out of the way behind the floating central touchscreen.
If either of the front passengers feels like taking control, the arm can swing the wheel out to the person who wants to steer. The pedals look to be fixed in place, though.
A high resolution camera and a laser scanner, which can be raised up to 70 centimetres above the roof line, both feed into the Budii’s autonomous driving and driver assist systems. In addition to detecting obstacles and hazards ahead, the two devices map the terrain of the road ahead and adjust the car’s air suspension system to suit.
Other changes include an air suspension system that can be adjusted by up to 100mm, electric doors, unique 19-inch alloy wheels, wireless phone charging, a Harman Kardon sound system, and two electric bicycles that are housed in pods on the car’s undersides.
In autonomous mode, passengers can choose to do their work on plexiglass work desks, catch up on some light entertainment or just watch the world pass by.