Swiss design firm Rinspeed is constantly trying to predict the automotive landscape of the future.
In that sense the company is more of a think tank than an actual design firm, since we never actually see any of its concepts enter production though certainly they have inspired elements on cars on sale today.
Rinspeed’s latest concept is the Oasis, a vehicle we previously described as being ideal for anti-car folk. It’s designed for the city landscape and features an electric powertrain as well as full self-driving capability. Its signature feature is an integrated small garden plot behind the windshield.
The design is rather futuristic and somewhat reminiscent of the famous droid R2D2. Like the "Star Wars" character, the Oasis can turn on its wheels with almost a zero radius. Making this possible is a special steering system working in combination with a pair of in-wheel electric motors and torque vectoring.
Rinspeed Oasis concept, 2017 Consumer Electronics Show
In the cabin, the garden plot isn’t the only highlight. Armchair-style seats and a television provide a modern living room ambience in white. Also worthy of note are the elegant aluminum seat bases. Finally, the floor is made from real wood to complete the lounge-like feel.
The Oasis can still be driven, though first you’ll need to pass a quick fitness and alertness test. Once you get tired of doing the driving, the steering wheel folds flat and turns into a work surface.
The Oasis certainly makes a lot of sense for busy cities, and Rinspeed says the car is ideal for car sharing, which a lot of people are predicting will be commonplace once full self-driving cars hit the roads. The company envisages the Oasis being used for commuting in the morning, making deliveries during the day, and taking people out for entertainment at night. And if one is using the car for the morning commute, an app is offered that can find potential carpoolers based on interest or profession.