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CES 2019: Rinspeed microSNAP clicks into place

12 January 2019 | by Karl Smith

Last year Rinspeed introduced the SNAP, a pod+skateboard solution to mobility. Autonomous, the pod could seat four and snap into the skateboard chassis. Now Rinspeed is back with a ‘junior’ variant, the Rinspeed microSNAP, the 25th concept car created by Frank Rinderknecht’s Swiss automotive company.

The idea underlying the microSNAP is the same as its big brother. Bodies (pods) ‘snap’ into a rolling chassis that has electric power and all computer, power and steering/rolling assemblies integrated into its skateboard shape. The Rinspeed genius is the shape of the thing, which accepts body pods like a Lego piece, ‘snapping’ them into place. The shapes explain the concept perfectly.

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Kuka robots lower a microSNAP passenger ‘pod’ onto the ‘skateboard’

The microSNAP is about the size of a Renault Twizy, but wider, to accommodate two occupants side by side. A wide variety of speciality pods can be installed on the skateboard – delivery, medical services, and power modules are just a few of solutions Rinspeed envisions for the little ‘car’.

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Medical Pod is one of many service pods that can use the Rinspeed skateboard

We got to sit in a microSNAP at the Luxoft booth, where their bespoke software solutions were on display. A partner in the project, Luxoft had plenty of interested parties waiting to sit in the cabin and see the demonstration.

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Luxoft’s microSNAP was a test mule for their advanced autonomy software, including Alexa

Luxoft’s version of the microSNAP was rather generic, but this was because it was the software which was on display. The nice details of interior finishes will be completed by someone else.

We were impressed with both Luxoft’s software and the microSNAP, which seems like a fun solution for urban and suburban autonomous travel. We look forward to further developments of the microSNAP concept.

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Proposed interior of a passenger microSNAP