It is also working on a robotic station which joins and separates chassis and bodies while also charging them, to meet the demands of business and private customers.
With the “Snap,” presented early this year at the CES in Las Vegas, Rinspeed for the first time presented an electric vehicle on which the chassis and bodies go their separate ways.
“Think micro, yet mighty!” is the Rinspeed motto now boss Frank M. Rinderknecht has shrunk the “Snap” into the “microSNAP” and thus to the dimensions of a Renault Twizy.
He believes the days of large delivery vehicles that serve customers one after the other like pearls on a string over the course of the day are over. Because online business is booming and now includes the fresh food sector as well, Rinderknecht believes in small autonomous vehicles that swarm out and deliver their goods to customers ‘just in time’ and without detours.
In addition, his vision also includes two-seater “robo units,” which quickly transport their passengers in comfort to their destination taking the shortest route and added, “Customers increasingly want prompt deliveries and many passengers are unwilling to use shared taxis, which have to take time-consuming detours by design.”
A startup is now on the drawing boards and talks with investors are underway to put the “Snap” on the road because responses have been encouraging.
Be it the “Snap” or the “microSNAP,” the basic idea is the same: While the bodies last as long as a car today, the chassis contains all components that are subject to wear and aging such as the computer technology for autonomous driving. “Skateboards” (chassis) and “Pods” (bodies) are only temporary companions for brief periods.
Various types of bodies use whatever Skateboards are currently available. The Skateboards are recycled after a few years, because they will have reached the end of their service life and avoid an expensive and complicated hardware update.