The concept, set to be revealed in Las Vegas next January, couples an autonomous 'skateboard' chassis with interchangeable body 'pods'.
Those pods could be designed to fulfil a range of roles, potentially allowing people to convert their Snap from a practical delivery van to a comfortable passenger car by simply swapping bodies – like giant, Swiss automotive Lego. They could also, theoretically, be used as portable office spaces when they aren't attached to a chassis.
Rinspeed's idea behind the novel setup is simple; as technology advances, the computer hardware in cars is becoming obsolete faster than ever before. To illustrate the point, the company uses the example of in-house navigation systems, which are usually hopelessly outdated by the time the car reaches its second owner.
Above: The Rinspeed Oasis concept, displayed at CES this year.
The company also suggests this "irritating" problem could "quickly become a matter of safety in the near-future in self-driving cars".
Rather than allowing the march of technology to make an entire vehicle obsolete, the Snap would allow owners to swap their 'pod' onto a new 'skateboard' as autonomous or powertrain hardware advances.
This isn't the first time Rinspeed has taken a novel approach to autonomous driving, or electric cars. The futuristic Oasis debuted at CES this year, and was described by the company as "kind of like a trendy buddy of Star Wars icon R2-D2.″ With a table, television and sideboard inside, we'd argue it's more like a tiny autonomous living room on wheels.