The Etos concept (written properly as ‘Ʃtos’) tackles the challenge of designing autonomous car features that work seamlessly with the driver and their occupants.
The centrepiece of the Rinspeed Etos concept is the folding and retracting steering wheel that disappears into the dashboard within seconds when the person in the driver’s seat hands over control to the vehicle, giving them more space to work or relax.
Two curved 21.5-inch ultra HD widescreen monitors on the dashboard are at the ready if catching up on a TV show or watching a movie is on the menu.
Those screens are also home to the Etos concept’s innovative Harman connected car technology suite, which Rinspeed says acts just like a personal assistant, thinking on the fly, anticipating the occupants’ needs, and allegedly being “courteous”.
Eight HD exterior cameras scan the vehicle’s surroundings completely, allowing “virtual mirrors” to offer an expanded field of vision that promises no blind spots in front or behind.
As well as watching out, the Etos also looks in. A “gaze-tracking system” permanently monitors the driver’s eye movements, allowing it to know what the driver has – and more importantly hasn’t – seen. With this information it can virtually display road signs or warnings to the driver that they missed.
The gaze-tracking technology is also linked to the side mirrors, which only display images when the driver is looking at them, to minimise distractions.
More than just a car, the Etos comes with a DJI drone and a landing platform at the rear. A bit of a gimmick, Rinspeed says the drone can be used to “quickly pick up a bouquet of flowers for the significant other ordered on the way home”, or shoot a selfie of the Etos and stream it live to your friends.
Rinspeed collaborated with a host of other partners for other innovative pieces of technology, materials and components, among which is a Patravi Traveltec clock from fellow Swiss manufacturer Carl F. Bucherer that takes pride of place atop the dashabord.
The Rinspeed Etos concept will make its international premiere at next month’s 2016 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
Click the Photos tab for more images.