Rinspeed and HARMAN have partnered up once again, producing the SNAP Concept Car. This is a level 5 autonomous driving vehicle, without a steering while, which the two companies believe will be used on the road as early as 2025. HARMAN and Rinspeed are no strangers to each other, this is actually the tenth project the two have done together, and the third connected car concept that HARMAN will be showing off in Las Vegas at CES next month. HARMAN says that the SNAP will actually be accompanying a market-ready vehicle, which will showcase transformative digital cockpit experiences from both HARMAN and Samsung. The other car is going to be a semi-autonomous vehicle – these type of cars are already on the road right now.
The purpose of the Rinspeed SNAP is to showcase a seamless user experience no matter who is in the car. HARMAN decided to go this route because car-sharing services are gaining a lot of momentum, so no matter who is in the car, you can get a vastly different experience, from the colored lighting in the car, to the music playing and everything in between. The Rinspeed SNAP is basically a pod that can be rearranged based on who's in the car. Whether you want to be alone, and just chill out on the ride, or party in the SNAP, it can do either one, seamlessly.
HARMAN and Rinspeed will be showcasing a few forward-looking features on the SNAP. This includes true Level 5 infotainment, an intelligent personal assistant, the ability to personalize the car to individual needs and full connectivity to the outside world. HARMAN has actually designed a HMI (Human Machine Interface) as well as a UX for users to actually be able to use in the SNAP, since the users aren't focused on the road any longer. Access to the SNAP is a snap, you will use a smart device (like a smartphone) to unlock the car, then two-step verification is used to access personal content. The final step in two-step verification is going to be a biometric identification, like facial recognition.
Some of HARMAN's other products announced today are also part of this concept car, like the next generation of Ignite. As well as cyber security measures, over-the-air software updates and much more. HARMAN has also integrated SoftBank's personal robot, Pepper into the car, which will be used as a concierge service. There's also a personal control panel at each seat (there's four seats in each SNAP), which features a high-density, multi-touch interface, as well as an interactive rotary dial with contextual haptic feedback. HARMAN and Rinspeed will be showing the SNAP off at CES, so we'll be able to go hands on with it in January, but it looks to be the car of the future, for sure, at this point.