Swiss automobile company Rinspeed has unveiled a self-driving concept car that transforms into a mobile office so owners can make the most of their time on the road (+ slideshow).
"So far hardly anyone has taken this to its logical conclusion from the perspective of the driver," explained Rinspeed founder Frank M. Rinderknecht. "How will the interior of a vehicle have to be designed to let the now largely unburdened driver make optimal use of the gain in time?"
When the driver engages autonomous driving, the steering wheel would slide away and a desk could be pulled out to accommodate laptops and other office equipment.
Once the car is driving itself, the driver could swivel their seat to face the passenger, or explore any of the 20 possible seating positions at their disposal, including a flat bed. While relaxing, passengers would have access to an entertainment system spread across four separate screens.
The XChangE would also have its own wireless 4G connection, which Rinspeed believes could be used to access cloud services such as warning messages or recommendations en route and driving profiles.
A 1.2-metre-wide display strip on the dashboard would provide information such as distance to travel and remaining fuel. In the rear of the cabin, a 32-inch monitor could be used to access on-demand films and TV via gesture control.
The interior would feature 358 individually controlled LEDs, as well as an extra 98 in the instrument panel to gently light the cabin. The seating and carpeting, developed by textile specialist Strähle+Hes, would use natural materials including Merino wool and silk.
The XchangE is the twentieth concept vehicle produced by Rinspeed, which plans to unveil the car at the Geneva International Motor Show next month.