Rinspeed XchangE: the mad autonomous Tesla Model S

21 Feb, 2014 4:00pm Jonathan Burn

This is what happens when a Tesla Model S falls into the hands of Swiss think tank and 'mobility lab' Rinspeed

Swiss ideas factory Rinspeed has got its hands on the new fully electric Tesla Model S and transformed it into an autonomous vehicle. Dubbed XchangE, the radical concept will debut at next month’s Geneva Motor Show.

The XchangE concept was previewed late last year with several design sketches and now the autonomous saloon is a reality – although it will remain a one off. The concept uses steer-by-wire technology, similar to that which can be found on modern airliners, which automatically controls the direction of the car.

Since the XchangE concept doesn’t require the assistance of a driver, Rinspeed has designed an interior based around relaxation. Inside, passengers can pick from over 20 seating positions – a world record. Various innovative entertainment features have also been fitted, including a 1.2m wide display strip on the dash relaying back key vehicle data and a 32-inch 4K monitor, which can be used to watch videos.

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The avant-garde interior was developed by Strahle+Hess and features natural materials such as merino wool and silk. Another interior highlight is the Plexiglas roof, which Rinspeed claims shimmers in all colours of the rainbow thanks to the 358 individually controlled LED lights.

The XchangE is the twentieth concept vehicle of the Swiss think tank and ‘mobility lab’. Check out the videos below to see the concept in action.

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It looks really nice but I can't help but think that to reap the benefits of such a car you need a totally different architecture than this otherwise regular 3-box sedan.

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