Rinspeed, the Swiss tuning and styling house famous for its outside-the-box thinking, will soon reveal a second new self-driving concept.
Like the XchangE, the seemingly BMW i3-inspired Budii will focus on transforming the daily commute into a relaxing chauffeured experience.
Rinspeed says the Budii’s purpose is to “redefine the relationship between man and machine”, but, while it is clear the concept will be built around driverless technologies, little else has been revealed.
The company says that the concept’s name, a play on the informal word for ‘friend’ (and not a nickname for the Buddha), represents its ability to learn the habits and preferences of its occupants.
“The electrically powered eye-catcher is intended to become the driver's ‘best buddy’,” Rinspeed founder Frank M. Rinderknecht says.
"The transition from traditional to autonomous driving will take place in stages. Consequently, man and machine will still have a few years left to get used to this new form of mobility and the different interplay between people and technology it will entail, time they both will need."
While the exterior of the Budii looks to be inspired by (or even based on) BMW’s new electric i3 city car, the interior centres around a steering wheel that can be positioned either for human-controlled driving or moved out of the way when the vehicle’s computer is doing the driving.
Watch for the Budii to debut at the Geneva Motor Show on March 15, 2015.