Nobody was quite sure what Fiat Chrysler would bring to this year'sin Las Vegas. Now we can see quite clearly that it's a conceptual battle-tank for the family of the near-ish future.
A quick look at the Portal shows that it's more than just a reskinned Pacifica minivan. It has sliding doors, sure -- some really cool opposing sliding doors, at that -- but its countenance more closely resembles some sort of tank. The interior is futuristic but recognizable, with center-mounted displays above and below the dashboard.
The Portal concept takes up a few of the auto industry's in-vogue technologies. Naturally, it's a battery-electric vehicle, and it's capable of "talking" to both local infrastructure (vehicle-to-infrastructure or V2I) and other vehicles (V2V). This and other information is displayed on a high-mounted OLED display inside the concept.
It's autonomous as well. Thanks to a collection of cameras, radar, LiDAR and ultrasonic sensors, the Portal concept is capable of Level 3 autonomous driving. Level 3 is where the vehicle begins to assume monitoring duties. A driver is still required to intervene where necessary, but the car should be doing most of the work on its own in a majority of situations.
Next-generation technology also serves to enhance the experience for occupants. Face and voice recognition allows the Portal to configure itself for individual drivers and passengers, from vehicle temperature to music and other basic settings. The Portal's voice controls extend to all passengers, as well. Even something simple like paying for a fast food meal can be done through the vehicle, no physical wallet required.
The Portal concept is aimed at Millennials, and part of its appeal is the upgradeable in-car tech. You can add certain features to the car, such as a baby monitor, after the fact, so drivers can be a little cost conscious. It's certainly easier than going out and buying a whole new car.
Chrysler will officially debut the Portal concept on Tuesday in Las Vegas at 1 p.m. PST. You can watch the livestream below.
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