Rinspeed previews Budii concept ahead of Geneva show

Every year Frank Rinderknecht and his team at Rinspeed come to the Geneva Motor Show with another fantastical concept car, and next year's will be no exception. Though the show may still be several months away, the Swiss outfit is already giving us a glimpse of what to expect.

Rinspeed's latest project is called the Budii, and it aims to "redefine the relationship between man and machine." As you might have guessed, that means driverless technology. Specific details at this point are limited, but the design calls for an electric vehicle with an adaptable cabin featuring drive-by-wire steering wheel. That wheel can swing out of the way to the center of the dashboard or to either side, should driver or passenger (as blurred as those rigid concepts become in this case) wish to take control.

Beyond that we don't know much at this point, but the image above seems to indicate it'll be based on the BMW i3. Meanwhile the long list of partners and suppliers suggest it'll feature a design by Mansory, a Harman infotainment system and a Carl F. Bucherer analog clock embedded in the dynamic dashboard.
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2015 Geneva Motor Show
Rinspeed exhibits "Budii" at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show: "We need to redefine the relationship between man and machine"

As far as Swiss automotive visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht is concerned, the breakneck speed of technical developments forces us to redefine our relationship with the automobile. The farsighted Swiss says: "Until now, what we have primarily associated with auto mobility was freedom and individuality. And - consciously or unconsciously - we are prepared to pay a high price in many regards for these privileges. We need only look at the accident statistics."

Autonomous driving undoubtedly offers the opportunity to drastically diminish some of the drawbacks of private transport. For example, the number of traffic accidents could drop worldwide. But although it will be less prone to err than humans, even the best technology will not be perfect. "That is something we will have to accept," believes the boss of Rinspeed, the Swiss automotive powerhouse of ideas. "We should not develop a blind, but rather a healthy faith in the new capabilities of the hardware and software." Because in his estimation, cars will do just what we do: "They will keep learning each day, and as a result will get better and better at mastering the complex challenges of modern-day private transport."

The Swiss company will show the world what such a learning and personalized "friend on wheels" might look like at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show with the trans-urban "Budii" concept car. The electrically powered eye-catcher is intended to become the driver's "best buddy," and its autopilot the perfect chauffeur that quickly adapts to the habits and preferences of its "boss." To this end, "Budii" will feature a host of innovations, which following a long-standing Rinspeed tradition will revolve around humans and their needs. In addition, it will take data from its environment and the "experiences" of other vehicles along its route into account.

The car for the city and surrounding countryside will handle the often inconvenient daily routine trips independently, while the "pilot" will still be able to take the wheel as usual on fun weekend trips. The ingenious twist: the steering wheel is supported by a state-of-the-art sensitive robot arm, which enables both the driver and the front passenger to steer. And if nobody feels like steering, it is simply parked in center position.

Rinderknecht is sure: "The transition from traditional to autonomous driving will take place in stages. Consequently, man and machine will still have a few years left to get used to this new form of mobility and the different interplay between people and technology it will entail, time they both will need."

The Geneva Motor Show will take place from March 5 through 15, 2015. The Rinspeed "Budii" is already the twenty-first proprietary concept vehicle of the Swiss "Think Tank" and "Innovation Lab".

The partners and suppliers in the realization of the "Budii" are:

4erC GmbH - www.4erc.ch
Borbet Vertriebs GmbH - www.borbet.de
Carl F. Bucherer - www.carl-f-bucherer.com
Dr. Schneider Unternehmensgruppe - www.dr-schneider.com
Eberspächer Climate Control Systems GmbH & Co. KG - www.eberspaecher.com
Esoro AG - www.esoro.ch
Evonik Industries AG - automotive.evonik.com/
Ernst & Young GmbH - www.de.ey.com/automotive
Harman International, Inc. - www.harman.com
Konrad Hornschuch AG - www.hornschuchgroup.com
Ibeo Automotive Systems GmbH - www.ibeo-as.com
Kappa optronics GmbH - www.kappa.de/
Kiekert AG - www.kiekert.com/de/home.html
Kuka AG - www.kuka-lbr-iiwa.com/de/
Mansory Design & Holding GmbH - www.mansory.com
NXP Semiconductors Germany GmbH - www.nxp.com
Racemark International - www.racemark.com
The Red Lions AG - www.the-red-lions.ch
Sika Schweiz AG - www.sika.com/automotive
Strähle+Hess GmbH - www.straehle-hess.de
Vollmond Werbeagentur - www.agentur-vollmond.de
Weidplas GmbH - www.weidplas.com
Zypalis AG - www.zypalis.ag

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