Autonomous Tesla from Rinspeed Predicts a Driverless Future

Rinspeed Autonomous Tesla

Meet the XchangE, an autonomous Tesla Model S built by the visionaries at Rinspeed. Take note, everyone, because Rinspeed is a company that is so in tune with real modernity, so in touch with the needs of the marketplace, that it was, in fact, the only company to realize that what the buyer’s of Tesla’s $70,000+ Model S really want to do is sleep in their car on the side of the road in the middle of the desert.

Really, this new autonomous Tesla is so brilliant, it’s almost enough to make me regret calling Rinspeed’s last concept car stupid.

I say “almost”, of course, because any mention of brilliance used in conjunction with Rinspeed’s XchangE is guaranteed to be dripping with sarcasm. It’s too bad, too- because when Rinspeed’s Frank Rinderknecht first started talking about the XchangE back in December, it didn’t look totally ridiculous. Looking back at those images of the car, you couldn’t see the horrible yellow trim and grille. You couldn’t see the shock of purple in the roof structure, either- and you definitely couldn’t see the extras from Sprockets Frank found to play the role “hip, forward-looking fashionistas” as they glamorously, you know, live in their car.

I can already hear you clever boys in the comments, with your “OMG! They ran out of power- range anxiety! LOL!” but look closely: they’re watching TV. A big TV. Seems like they have a few hours of electricity left, at least, no?

So, it’s a fancy shiver shack for hobos with 6-figure incomes. Check. Still, that’s not even the “best” part of this autonomous Tesla concept … that’s because there’s no reason to believe there is any, you know, actual driverless technology in Rinspeed’s XchangE. It’s more of a “think piece” on what a driverless car might mean to our culture, so be sure to think about heady, future-ific stuff while you check out these photos.


Source | Photos: Rinspeed

Jo Borrás

I've been in the auto industry 1997, and write for a number of blogs in the IM network. You can also find me on Twitter, at my Volvo fansite, out on two wheels, or chasing my kids around Oak Park, IL.