Automotive

Chrysler's Portal leads to a ​seamlessly connected, self-driving future

Chrysler's Portal leads to a ​...
Chrysler debuts the Portal Concept at CES on Tuesday
Chrysler debuts the Portal Concept at CES on Tuesday
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The all-electric, semi-autonomous Chrysler Portal Concept debuts at CES 2017
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The all-electric, semi-autonomous Chrysler Portal Concept debuts at CES 2017
Chrysler describes the Portal design as a "mono-volume exterior"
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Chrysler describes the Portal design as a "mono-volume exterior"
The actual "portal" is the articulating front and rear doors that provide a wide entry
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The actual "portal" is the articulating front and rear doors that provide a wide entry
The glass roof adds to the open, spacious feel of the interior 
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The glass roof adds to the open, spacious feel of the interior 
Another interpretation of the electric vehicle front fascia
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Another interpretation of the electric vehicle front fascia
Chrysler uses thin, folding seats for interior flexibility
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Chrysler uses thin, folding seats for interior flexibility
The Chrysler Portal Concept features six seats
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The Chrysler Portal Concept features six seats
The Portal Concept's individual seats are secured to floor tracks
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The Portal Concept's individual seats are secured to floor tracks
The seats' folding and sliding capabilities offer much interior flexibility
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The seats' folding and sliding capabilities offer much interior flexibility
The dashboard area features a central display and wide, multi-zone informational panel
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The dashboard area features a central display and wide, multi-zone informational panel
Though the Portal Concept is just a Level 3 autonomous design (requires driver to pay attention at all times), the steering wheel retracts for future upgrades to higher levels of autonomy 
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Though the Portal Concept is just a Level 3 autonomous design (requires driver to pay attention at all times), the steering wheel retracts for future upgrades to higher levels of autonomy 
Chrysler Portal Concept interior
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Chrysler Portal Concept interior
The Chrysler Portal Concept features a movable center console also mounted on tracks
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The Chrysler Portal Concept features a movable center console also mounted on tracks
Chrysler estimates driving range at 250 miles
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Chrysler estimates driving range at 250 miles
The Portal's charging rail provides easy device charging
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The Portal's charging rail provides easy device charging
Charging port on the Chrysler Portal Concept
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Charging port on the Chrysler Portal Concept
The Chrysler badge on the Portal Concept doubles as a charging indicator during juice-ups
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The Chrysler badge on the Portal Concept doubles as a charging indicator during juice-ups
The Chrysler Portal Concept emerges from the dark
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The Chrysler Portal Concept emerges from the dark
Like the headlamps, the tail lamps feature next-gen thin-lens LED tech, according to Chrysler
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Like the headlamps, the tail lamps feature next-gen thin-lens LED tech, according to Chrysler
Chrysler worked with a variety of partners on the Portal Concept, including Panasonic Automotive and Samsung
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Chrysler worked with a variety of partners on the Portal Concept, including Panasonic Automotive and Samsung
Chrysler Portal Concept
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Chrysler Portal Concept
Chrysler's Portal rides on 21-in wheels
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Chrysler's Portal rides on 21-in wheels
The articulated doors and door-integrated B pillar structure create easy ingress/egress
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The articulated doors and door-integrated B pillar structure create easy ingress/egress
Chrysler consulted with millennials when designing the Portal Concept
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Chrysler consulted with millennials when designing the Portal Concept
Chrysler suggests that millennials will seek out a vehicle that can grow with their families, offer advanced technology and be categorized as socially responsible
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Chrysler suggests that millennials will seek out a vehicle that can grow with their families, offer advanced technology and be categorized as socially responsible
"LED interactive portal lighting" outlines the Portal doors
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"LED interactive portal lighting" outlines the Portal doors
Chrysler uses interactive LED lighting all around the Portal design
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Chrysler uses interactive LED lighting all around the Portal design
The Portal Concept works with smart home technology
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The Portal Concept works with smart home technology
The Portal Concept's infotainment system is designed for easy sharing between passengers
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The Portal Concept's infotainment system is designed for easy sharing between passengers
Chrysler Portal Concept
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Chrysler Portal Concept
Connected ordering and payment make drive-throughs a breeze
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Connected ordering and payment make drive-throughs a breeze
Chrysler Portal Concept
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Chrysler Portal Concept
An internal camera can take group photos ... if that's something you want to do
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An internal camera can take group photos ... if that's something you want to do
The three-zone multi-display
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The three-zone multi-display
Chrysler imagines the Portal interior as a "third space," somewhere between home and office
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Chrysler imagines the Portal interior as a "third space," somewhere between home and office
The Chrysler Portal's underfloor battery pack helps free up space and versatility inside
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The Chrysler Portal's underfloor battery pack helps free up space and versatility inside
Chrysler debuts the Portal Concept at CES on Tuesday
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Chrysler debuts the Portal Concept at CES on Tuesday
Chrysler debuts the Portal Concept at CES on Tuesday
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Chrysler debuts the Portal Concept at CES on Tuesday
The Portal Concept is envisioned as an SAE Level 3 autonomous car, meaning it can drive autonomously in some situations, but the driver must pay attention and be prepared to intervene
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The Portal Concept is envisioned as an SAE Level 3 autonomous car, meaning it can drive autonomously in some situations, but the driver must pay attention and be prepared to intervene
Chrysler Portal Concept
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Chrysler Portal Concept
The Chrysler Portal Concept is one of the all-new cars making this year's CES the first major auto show of the year
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The Chrysler Portal Concept is one of the all-new cars making this year's CES the first major auto show of the year
Chrysler debuts the Portal Concept at CES on Tuesday
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Chrysler debuts the Portal Concept at CES on Tuesday
Retractable steering wheel
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Retractable steering wheel
Chrysler Portal Concept at CES 2017 
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Chrysler Portal Concept at CES 2017 
Inside the Chrysler Portal Concept
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Inside the Chrysler Portal Concept
Inside the Chrysler Portal Concept
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Inside the Chrysler Portal Concept

At CES 2017, Chrysler is presenting a concept car with the flexibility and upgradability to grow with the millennial, from adventurous youth to head of household. The all-new Portal Concept debuts as a high-tech semi-autonomous MPV loaded with the types of technologies millennials have come to treat like breathable oxygen and the flexibility to load up with people, cargo or both. A couple weeks after Chrysler sent a fleet of self-driving minivans over to Google's Waymo, a new self-driving Chrysler minivan grabs the spotlight.

After doing some research on millennials, Chrysler focused attention on designing the Portal Concept from the inside out, starting with a highly configurable, high-tech six-seat interior accessed via the 5-foot wide entry created by front and rear articulated doors with edge-integrated B pillars. It fills that interior with all kinds of technology, customization and social sharing in an attempt to appeal to members of a generation that see tech as an integral part of their lives.

Chrysler Portal Concept at CES 2017 
Chrysler Portal Concept at CES 2017 

The Portal creates a more seamless experience immediately, using a combination of smartphone and facial recognition to recognize the driver and passengers and personalize settings for each one. Chrysler says the vehicle can automatically adjust music, lighting, temperature, seat heating/cooling and other settings for each seating position. And should an occupant switch to a different seat, the settings will move with him or her. Voice detection allows a recognized driver or passenger to unlock the wide-opening doors by a simple spoken command.

Contributing to the "individual zone" nature of the seats, each one is situated independently, with its own armrests and pedestal base mounted to floor tracks. The floor tracks taper inward as they move toward the rear of the vehicle, ensuring a clear "over the shoulder" view of the front displays for all passengers. The seats can be adjusted along the tracks, folded up or removed completely to provide many configurations for passengers and cargo. In addition to folding backs, the seats incorporate cushions that fold up, like a stadium seat, further increasing interior versatility. The floor rails can also be used with accessories for securing things like bikes inside the cabin.

Each seat includes an individual audio zone and voice recognition microphones to capture each occupant's commands. Touch technology also plays heavily in the interior design, and a central headliner dock turns a mobile device into a community display, visible to all passengers. Passengers can easily share content by swiping it to this central community screen. Docks around the interior make it easy to mount and charge other mobile devices.

The Chrysler Portal Concept features six seats
The Chrysler Portal Concept features six seats

Using predictive intelligence, the Portal can take passenger preferences into consideration when creating a route from A to B, assisting in finding restaurants and points of interest along the way, as well as in identifying music and video content everyone will enjoy during the ride. At pit stops, digital fast food ordering and payment serve as an alternative to screaming at the drive-through display and tossing bills and coins through a window.

Chrysler's "inside out" focus is very clear, and the interior is definitely the star of the Portal design, but the concept is also a look at an autonomous vehicle equipped with SAE Level 3 capability. The driver can hand control over to a hardware suite that includes GPS, Vehicle-to-X communications and LIDAR, radar, ultrasonic and camera sensors during certain highway commuting situations but must remain prepared to take over when necessary. Chrysler says that the Portal's self-driving capability could be upgraded to Level 4, as technology progresses and drivers desire, and the concept includes a retractable steering wheel design with this more advanced autonomy in mind. The front seats don't appear to swivel, though.

The dashboard area features a central display and wide, multi-zone informational panel
The dashboard area features a central display and wide, multi-zone informational panel

Since the Portal does require human driver alertness and intervention, it includes a few driver-assistance technologies. The AMOLED information screen stretching across the dash splits info up into three zones: a basic driver-side instrument cluster with usuals like speed and battery level, a central zone showing the vehicle's 360-degree surroundings, and an in-vehicle settings and media sharing zone.

Chrysler's facial recognition hardware tracks the driver's eyes to make sure he or she is paying attention as required within Level 3 driving, issuing an alert to take over when it deems the driver is not paying attention. If the driver doesn't take control after such an alert, the vehicle will pull to a stop at the side of the road. Using this same facial tracking technology, the car places key information within the driver's sightline and automatically dims or brightens the display as needed to reduce eyestrain.

Like most good CES concept cars, the Portal is of electric build, relying on a front-mounted motor and 100-kWh lithium-ion battery pack for up to 250 miles (402 km) or so of range. With a DC Fast Charger, the minivan can dial up 150 miles (241 km) of range within about 20 minutes of charging. The battery is mounted below the vehicle floor within the 118.2-in (3,002-mm) wheelbase, keeping the interior's 180 cu ft (5 cu m) of space open and configurable.

Charging port on the Chrysler Portal Concept
Charging port on the Chrysler Portal Concept

Chrysler imagines the Portal's suite of over 20 individual technologies being offered in an al a carte and upgradeable way, allowing customers to pick and choose which features to add and when. For instance, as a couple grows into a larger family, they could add new features, activating the short-range wireless network to support a video baby monitor system for the rear carseat or the facial recognition suite to streamline personalization of in-vehicle settings for themselves and their children. In addition to the previously discussed technologies, the Portal features an interior "selfie" camera, passenger-to-passenger intercom, smart home integration, gesture control, personalized lighting and a companion app.

Chrysler's press release doesn't mention any plans for production of a Portal-like vehicle, so we'll assume this is purely an exploration of ideas.

New Atlas is on the ground at CES, where we'll continue bringing you the latest.

Source: FCA

2 comments
Chizzy
so chrysler designed a car with in app purchase options? hopefully there will be an ad supported version with a lower price, and a nifty little adblock hack.
Bob Flint
Doors don't actually slide, seems more of a standard & suicide pivoting. That front central sensor is useless without a cleaning system slush, mud, etc.