Higher, faster, further – all this is a thing of the past. Advances in mobility are no longer judged in terms of speed and range. It is now far more about how people can reach their destination comfortably, safely and in a climate-friendly manner. Or: how the destination can come to you.
‘People want more and more comfort and simplicity in their lives, and that is what we want to make possible with our innovative transport solutions’, says Frank M. Rinderknecht. He is the founder of Rinspeed AG, the Swiss think tank for automotive concepts.
‘If we want to maintain our individual mobility in the future, we must rethink the car without worrying about current constraints’, says Rinderknecht. And if anyone can think up ideas and concepts without paying heed to existing confines, it's Rinderknecht. He is considered a visionary inventor and pioneer of the concept of sustainability. Some of the craziest, but also most innovative ideas in automotive engineering have come from his mind.
Modular mobility system
Rinderknecht's latest concept vehicle is the MetroSnap, an automated and modular mobility system in which the chassis (skateboard) and body (pod) function separately. Different pods can be placed on the skateboard depending on requirements. One moment the vehicle is a shuttle for up to six people, the next a moving corner shop and the next a parcel station that gets the parcel to the customer.
The alternating system was inspired by aviation. Thanks to the flexible use of different pods, the vehicles are able to meet different requirements for the transport of people and goods and are therefore highly efficient.
Mobility as a Service
Mobility as a Service is taken literally at Rinspeed, because people are at the centre of everything. And according to Rinderknecht, the decisive step towards mass production has already been taken.
The aim is that the skateboards will be in continuous use. As the batteries are split between the skateboard and the pod, the MetroSnap does not need to be parked to charge it up. Just like a pit stop for a racing car, the battery is swapped at the same time as the pods are swapped. The Swiss call this a ‘hot swap’. The battery is then charged without wasting time cleaning or charging the pod.
As in other Rinspeed projects, the implementation is carried out by various cooperation partners from all over the world. With Hypermotion, Messe Frankfurt is also an official partner of the Swiss. The Rinspeed MetroSnap will be on show at both Hypermotion and Automechanika in the autumn of 2020.
- Transport & Logistics