Swiss specialist Rinspeed says it’s about time we called an end to full-size SUVs for the daily drive in urban areas and has unveiled its Oasis autonomous electric city car.
In a new twist for the urban jungle, the Oasis even features a removable garden bed which sits under the windscreen (to enjoy sunlight) - with enough space to grow small vegetable or bonsai trees.
It’s all part of a welcoming interior with a timber floor, materials in wool and leather and - maximizing the benefits of a driverless car - armchairs, a sideboard for drinks, laptops and even a TV.
As a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot, the Rinspeed Oasis is equipped with Harman Life-Enhancing Intelligent Vehicle Solutions (LIVS) which, for example, monitors your Facebook profile so if some of your friends have recommended a restaurant nearby then you just "OK" to your in-car Personal Assistant and a table is reserved for you.
Voice or gesture control is available for the full width of the vehicle so driver or passenger can operate functions including Skype video calls.
The in-car Personal Assistant even monitors what language is being spoken inside and adjusts accordingly.
In fact the Facebook and Twitter connections will enable your friends to use your Rinspeed Oasis when you are away. After dropping you at the airport, the car uses Twitter to let your friends know it is sitting idle - they just use WhatsApp or other social media connections to summon it.
And, with inbuilt traffic management solutions from Siemens, the Rinspeed Oasis will make sure it is back at the airport in time to meet your returning flight.
At night, the Rinspeed Oasis can be converted into a mobile cinema room (it’s called CinemaScope and is accompanied by Harman’s 24-channel sound system). The windscreen can be used as a giant virtual or augmented realities display with holographic laser projection.
The clever steering wheel, sourced from ZF, folds flat and, should the driver wish to regain control, a fitness and alertness test must be passed.
Tight city maneuvering is no problem as two in-wheel electric motors with torque vectoring enable the Rinspeed Oasis to turn with a zero radius (like a shopping cart).