When we're all wheelchair-bound amorphous blobs skirting between our PepsiBucks injections and the latest PixNey flick, how will our mechanical watches keep running? Rinspeed has you covered.
You can count on many wonderful things at the Geneva Motor Show, but at the top of that list is Rinspeed, led by Frank Rinderknecht, the automotive world's hippy-tripping Willy Wonka. This year, he's taken the BMW i3 and let his imagination and supplier connections run wild to create the "Budii," your new best "friend on wheels."
As a follow-up to last year's self-driving Tesla-based XchangE, the Budii ups the batshit quotient with a robotic arm that shifts from the driver to the passenger side. When driving is just TOO MUCH, the 7-axis articulated column lays flat to serve as a table in autonomous mode, and if your multi-thousand-dollar Manero PowerReserve watch is low on juice, it mounts on the arm, dancing around to the curves of the road to keep it wound.
The Budii's self-driving abilities come from a combination of a ton of processing power, a series of high-res cameras, and a "TrackView" LIDAR array that extends 70 centimeters from the roof to keep tabs on the road ahead. That's combined with the air-suspension, that can lift or lower the Budii by 100mm to adapt to the terrain, either on-road or off.
To let people know you've ceded control to the robots, a series of lighting effects on the outside keep people around you informed of what mode you're in, similar to what Mercedes did with its Luxury In Motion concept. And if you're fighting with your genetically engineered Swiss spouse about what tasty sludge you want for dinner, privacy fans shade you from the outside world.
When you get there, you don't have to bother with the arduous task of walking (hey, your watch is already wound). Instead, two Segway-like pods are stored in the back seat for that final leg, and if you want your new best friend to follow you during your romantic ride along what used to be a beach, the Budii will follow you like the robotic drone it is. And if you're wondering why the interior is such an epic ode to good taste – complete with something called a "wellness shower" in the headliner and what looks like a Fleshlight for a cupholder – you can thank none other than those purveyors of peerless taste, Mansory.
Also, M&Ms. Because why the fuck not?