Automotive

Rinspeed Budii autonomous concept designed to be your friend on wheels

The Budii autonomous vehicle concept by Rinspeed is a showcase for self-driving vehicle technology
The Budii autonomous vehicle concept by Rinspeed is a showcase for self-driving vehicle technology
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The Manero PowerReserve watch from Carl F. Bucherer
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The Manero PowerReserve watch from Carl F. Bucherer
LED-lighting on air vents
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LED-lighting on air vents
Leather and high-end fabrics abound
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Leather and high-end fabrics abound
Budii has a myriad intelligent systems, all replete with touch screens and displays
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Budii has a myriad intelligent systems, all replete with touch screens and displays
The center console display
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The center console display
Something sweet always keeps the kids happy on long journeys
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Something sweet always keeps the kids happy on long journeys
The vehicle incorporates a high-end Harman-Kardon premium audio and video set up
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The vehicle incorporates a high-end Harman-Kardon premium audio and video set up
The detail appears fastidious in the Budii concept
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The detail appears fastidious in the Budii concept
Budii owners will be able to keep smartphone batteries topped up by means of wireless power charging
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Budii owners will be able to keep smartphone batteries topped up by means of wireless power charging
LED lighting accents almost everything, inside and out
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LED lighting accents almost everything, inside and out
The Budii is set up to provide automatic payment for parking via NFC
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The Budii is set up to provide automatic payment for parking via NFC
Lots of information is displayed on the center console screen
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Lots of information is displayed on the center console screen
The vehicle incorporates a high-end Harman-Kardon premium audio and video set up
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The vehicle incorporates a high-end Harman-Kardon premium audio and video set up
More attention to detail in the interior
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More attention to detail in the interior
There's something called the "wellness shower" incorporated in the headliner (though Rinspeed hasn't gone into any further detail about precisely what that is)
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There's something called the "wellness shower" incorporated in the headliner (though Rinspeed hasn't gone into any further detail about precisely what that is)
Trip data displayed on a dash console
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Trip data displayed on a dash console
The vehicle incorporates a high-end Harman-Kardon premium audio and video set up
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The vehicle incorporates a high-end Harman-Kardon premium audio and video set up
There's something called the "wellness shower" incorporated in the headliner (though Rinspeed hasn't gone into any further detail about precisely what that is)
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There's something called the "wellness shower" incorporated in the headliner (though Rinspeed hasn't gone into any further detail about precisely what that is)
An integrated sunshade is also included
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An integrated sunshade is also included
Phone interconnectivity is a must in the modern autonomous vehicle, and the Budii is no exception
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Phone interconnectivity is a must in the modern autonomous vehicle, and the Budii is no exception
The vehicle incorporates a high-end Harman-Kardon premium audio and video set up
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The vehicle incorporates a high-end Harman-Kardon premium audio and video set up
The Budii autonomous vehicle concept by Rinspeed is a showcase for self-driving vehicle technology
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The Budii autonomous vehicle concept by Rinspeed is a showcase for self-driving vehicle technology
The Budii is built around a revamped BMW i3
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The Budii is built around a revamped BMW i3
Two electric mini vehicles that are housed in roll-out draw pods on either side of the car
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Two electric mini vehicles that are housed in roll-out draw pods on either side of the car
Outside, front
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Outside, front
The Budii is designed to be a test platform for future Rinspeed autonomous vehicle ideas
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The Budii is designed to be a test platform for future Rinspeed autonomous vehicle ideas
The Budii is designed to be a test platform for future Rinspeed autonomous vehicle ideas
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The Budii is designed to be a test platform for future Rinspeed autonomous vehicle ideas
The Budii is built around a revamped BMW i3
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The Budii is built around a revamped BMW i3
LED lighting is everywhere in the Budii interior
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LED lighting is everywhere in the Budii interior
The center console screen displays important information to the driver
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The center console screen displays important information to the driver
Want to swap drivers? Just have the robot arm swap sides
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Want to swap drivers? Just have the robot arm swap sides
Center console and interior
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Center console and interior
Center console and interior with occupants
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Center console and interior with occupants
Two electric mini vehicles that are housed in roll-out draw pods on either side of the car
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Two electric mini vehicles that are housed in roll-out draw pods on either side of the car
The steering wheel and its robot arm make for versatile driving
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The steering wheel and its robot arm make for versatile driving
The Budii's robot arm moves the wheel over to change drivers
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The Budii's robot arm moves the wheel over to change drivers
The center console is the visual heart of the concept
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The center console is the visual heart of the concept
Now the passenger can have a turn (or is it the driver?)
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Now the passenger can have a turn (or is it the driver?)
Interior detail
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Interior detail
A look inside the Budii from Rinspeed
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A look inside the Budii from Rinspeed
Two electric mini vehicles that are housed in roll-out draw pods on either side of the car
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Two electric mini vehicles that are housed in roll-out draw pods on either side of the car
Budii is designed to be autonomous and versatile
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Budii is designed to be autonomous and versatile
The Budii's robot arm steering control
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The Budii's robot arm steering control
Steering wheel ready for manual control
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Steering wheel ready for manual control
mmm...stripy
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mmm...stripy
With the car taking car of the driving, occupants can get some work done before arriving at the office
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With the car taking car of the driving, occupants can get some work done before arriving at the office
Either front occupants can drive the Budii (though not both at once as this photo would have you believe)
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Either front occupants can drive the Budii (though not both at once as this photo would have you believe)
The Budii has 19-inch bespoke alloy wheels
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The Budii has 19-inch bespoke alloy wheels
The Budii features a telescoping laser scanner on its roof called TrackView
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The Budii features a telescoping laser scanner on its roof called TrackView
With the car taking car of the driving, occupants can take in a movie or watch the news channel
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With the car taking car of the driving, occupants can take in a movie or watch the news channel
LED provides all of the lighting on the vehicle
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LED provides all of the lighting on the vehicle
Not only can you use your smartphone to interact with the Budii's communication technology, but a smartwatch too
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Not only can you use your smartphone to interact with the Budii's communication technology, but a smartwatch too
A rock in the middle of the road should be detected by Budii's onboard sensors
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A rock in the middle of the road should be detected by Budii's onboard sensors
Rinspeed Budii, autonomous vehicle
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Rinspeed Budii, autonomous vehicle
The Budii features a telescoping laser scanner on its roof called TrackView
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The Budii features a telescoping laser scanner on its roof called TrackView
Rinspeed's Budii concept is an autonomous vehicle
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Rinspeed's Budii concept is an autonomous vehicle
Driving the Budii can be manual or automated
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Driving the Budii can be manual or automated
Rinspeed sees autonomous vehicles as the future for personal transport
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Rinspeed sees autonomous vehicles as the future for personal transport
Autonomous vehicles like the Budii promise greater driving freedom
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Autonomous vehicles like the Budii promise greater driving freedom
The Budii is designed to adapt to the habits and preferences of the owner
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The Budii is designed to adapt to the habits and preferences of the owner
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Take one BMW i3, add some autonomous smarts like laser guidance, vehicle-to-vehicle communications, radar, motion sensing systems, and an advanced camera monitoring set up, then give it a quirky robot arm to do the steering, and you have Rinspeed's new Budii concept car. Described as your "friend on wheels," the Budii is also designed to adapt to the habits and preferences of the owner via a user interface. In this way, according to its creators, it becomes your proactive and attentive companion who knows just how you like your driving experience.

The first inklings of the Budii concept started to appear at the close of 2014, when it wasn't much more than a handful of drawings and a lot of "ifs" and "maybes." Fast-forward to this week, and Rinspeed is preparing to deliver the machine in the flesh, replete with many of the features hinted at, and more.

Of course, being a Rinspeed concept, the Budii is not a car to be hidden in the crowd. Apart from its interesting paint job and eye-catching colored grill, the Budii also sports its most obvious feature: a telescoping laser scanner on its roof. Dubbed TrackView, this periscope-like arrangement can be raised up to 70 cm (28 in) to help deliver a super-precise perspective of the environment around the vehicle by amalgamating data from all its sensors and a high-resolution camera to produce a 3D map of the nearby terrain.

The Budii features a telescoping laser scanner on its roof called TrackView
The Budii features a telescoping laser scanner on its roof called TrackView

Other features include an adjustable air suspension system, electrically-operated doors, bespoke 19-inch alloy wheels, and two electric mini vehicles that are housed in roll-out draw pods on either side of the car. One assumes that these electric two-wheelers are for those occupants who – after being driven around in an autonomous, self-driving vehicle – still find it too taxing to actually walk the final few yards to their destination.

The occupants don't necessarily need to be driven around autonomously all of the time, however, as the robotic arm control will happily hand the steering wheel over to the driver (or even the front passenger, if you like to mix it up a little) to take command. When in automated driving mode, the robot arm will move the steering wheel into the center.

With a completely new operating and display system fitted in place of the i3's old controls, the technology is reported to feature a range of innovative entertainment, safety and attendance functions. And, the vehicle also incorporates a high-end Harman-Kardon premium audio and video set up. In autonomous mode, passengers could sit back and watch a movie as the Budii piloted them to their destination.

Besides the radar systems and Vehicle-to-X communication solutions, Rinspeed says that the Budii is set up to provide wireless power phone charging, automatic payment for parking via NFC (Near Field Communication), and keyless entry with a remote control that not only locks and unlocks the vehicle, but also offers remote starting and customization options. To top off all of this gadgetry, solid state lighting in the form of LEDs provides all of the lighting on the vehicle.

There's something called the "wellness shower" incorporated in the headliner (though Rinspeed hasn't gone into any further detail about precisely what that is)
There's something called the "wellness shower" incorporated in the headliner (though Rinspeed hasn't gone into any further detail about precisely what that is)

As you might expect from a Geneva Motor Show autonomous concept showpiece, there are plenty of over-the-top added extras joining a myriad cup-holders, and a barrage of slide-out, roll-down, and pop-out accessories.

For starters, there's something called the "wellness shower" incorporated in the headliner (though Rinspeed hasn't gone into any further detail about precisely what that is). Then there's what is probably the most complex and expensive watch-winding mechanism ever devised. The Budii comes supplied with a Manero PowerReserve watch from Carl F. Bucherer that instructs the robotic steering arm to wind it up when an inbuilt high-resolution camera on the interior of the vehicle detects that the power reserve display on the watch face is warning of its imminent energy depletion.

According to Rinspeed's owner, Frank.M.Rinderknecht, the new Budii autonomous "trans-urban SUV" needs all of these complex and quirky gadgets to be included as it is a learning platform for future iterations of self-driving cars and all of their technology requirements.

"The autonomously driving car will require more than solving technical problems and legal issues in the next two decades," said Rinderknecht. "We not only have to redefine the interaction of man and machine, but must also raise questions about responsibility, tolerances and expectations. But even the best technology will not be perfect, albeit less prone to error than humans. That is something we will have to accept. We should not develop a blind, but rather a healthy trust in the new capabilities of the hardware and software. In the future, cars will do just as we do: they will keep learning every day, and as a result will get better and better at mastering the complex challenges of modern-day private transport."

The RInspeed Budii concept will be on display at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, which runs from March 5 to 15.

Source: Rinspeed

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