Back in October, Swiss auto company Rinspeed announced that it would bring an autonomous car concept called ∑tos to the Consumer Electronics Show (drawings. Now, the company is back, complete with honest-to-goodness pictures and video.) in Las Vegas this coming January. Disbelief was palpable, as all Rinspeed had to show for itself at the time were
The ∑tos (which is pronounced "Etos," according to the video), holds true to many of the ideas laid out when the car was just a drawing. It's still a BMW i8 and it's still rocking a drone helipad under its rear canopy, although now the landing zone is loaded with LEDs so you can display images (or so Rinspeed can display the numerous suppliers that contributed to its project).
Rinspeed did a great job separating the ∑tos from the i8 off which the car is based. The front and rear are completely redone, with the front fascia sort of resembling a Dodge Charger. The rear, on the other hand, looks like something plucked straight from science fiction, as if the i8 didn't already have that going for it. Yes, the pillar-hinged doors are present and accounted for.
The interior is both old and new. It's new, in the sense that Rinspeed delivered on its promise of incorporating both dual widescreens and a steering wheel that folds into the dashboard during autonomous driving. On the other hand, the interior is a little old because most of it is swathed in thick, cream-colored leather that resembles so many 1980s-era concept cars.
So, now we have both picture and video evidence that the ∑tos is more than just some pie-in-the-sky Swiss dream. Head yonder Vegas way if you want to see this car in the flesh -- flesh-colored interior leather, that is.