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Brief Published: 10 Jan 2018

Future-proof Car Features Separating Body & Chassis

Swiss automaker Rinspeed’s Snap concept car features a detachable passenger cabin (pod) and chassis (skateboard) – allowing it to function as both a vehicle and living space. The self-driving concept will be revealed at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. 

The design aims to address concerns about the short lifespan of vehicles, as technological advancements quickly render existing models obsolete. By separating the fast-ageing hardware (stored in the skateboard) from the passenger pod, Rinspeed extends the life of the vehicle, allowing for the skateboard to be replaced over time while retaining the car’s body.

The Rinspeed Snap proposes a system of autonomous transport for a future sharing economy. The skateboard is designed to be publicly operated, while the pod can be personally owned, leased or shared. This enables greater user customisation, as the pod can be designed in any style – from low-lying sports car to family campervan.

The pod stands on four smaller wheels that raise and lower the passenger cabin on and off the skateboard, allowing the two sections to be used simultaneously for different purposes. For example, the Rinspeed Snap can travel to a destination where the body can remain, acting as a camping pod, storage space, office site or retail vendor, while the skateboard is used by others.

For more on the future of autonomous transport, see the Oli shuttle bus in Design for Disability, Eve Vision Car in Blueprint for a Better Workplace and Wheelys’ Moby Mart. Look out for our coverage of CES 2018, coming soon.