December 16, 2015

Why is there a drone built into this weird BMW i8? (VIDEO) - @BMW


The answer to that headline up there is "Rinspeed." In fact, as a general rule of thumb, if you come across a concept car with a bunch of bizarre ideas slapped into one brightly colored package, the answer is almost always Rinspeed.


The Swiss company spends most of its time working on absolutely wild cars that stretch the limits of our sensibilities, and its most recent — the BMW i8-based Σtos — is set to debut at CES in a few weeks. There are lots of little details in Rinspeed's press release, but the bottom line is that this is the company's vision for how a self-driving car should work, complete with a retracting steering wheel so you've got more room to work and relax when the car's in control of itself. Oh, and it's got a DJI Inspire One drone built into the back.


Why? Well, asking "why?" of a Rinspeed concept car is always tough, but there's at least one cool function here: as long as the car isn't going too fast, you can deploy it while driving to capture and live stream "ride selfies" (a term I just coined). I'm not sure how cops and the FAA feel about deploying a drone from a moving car, but then again, the Σtos isn't very real.


The car's single best feature might be the drone's landing pad, a Gorilla Glass-covered array of LEDs that can be programmed as "an electronic message board or a visual dancefloor." What Rinspeed doesn't mention is that you couldn't be any larger than a raccoon to take advantage of a dancefloor on the engine compartment of an i8 — but still, it's a lovely idea.


We'll be seeing this mix of awesome nonsense in Vegas next month, so look forward to some live photos.




















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