The future is autonomous
Broadly speaking, the future of car-based transport is heading in two directions, autonomy and electricity. The Chrysler Portal combines both of these ideas into a potentially groundbreaking futuristic vehicle. Discover what could well be the future below.
Sit back and relax
First and foremost, the Portal is self-driving six passenger multi-purpose vehicle. Boasting Level 3 Autonomous driving capabilities it can automatically continue a car’s speed and course without the need for driver assistance. The driver still has to monitor the road though and will be required to make any changes in direction. For ease of access, the steering can retract into the front panel so it doesn’t use up any space in autonomous mode. The Portal achieves this through state-of-the-art sensing technology. Using radio waves, ultrasonic and LIDAR technology, nearby objects such as other road users are detected and sensed. The technology doesn’t end here and soon as improved autonomous systems are developed, they’ll be used in the Portal.
The Portal is powered by a lithium ion battery that creates 100 kW of power. Tiny when comapred to a standard engine, it still packs a punch with 402 kilometres worth of charge and a DC fast charger that can add 240 kilometres of range in under 20 minutes. A big sigh of relief for anyone still not sold on the longevity of electric cars.
The Portal’s USP may be that of an electric self-driving car but it’s so much more than that. The car is constructed with a carbon fibre x-brace that increases the car’s rigidity making it a safe place to be. The Portal places a lot of emphasis on passenger experience and it has large seats and doors for all six occupants to sit back and relax or even catch some z’s while the car chews up the miles on the road. The car may have large windows, which could be an issue in bright sunshine, but electrochromic technology is at the ready to darken the roof panel, creating a shaded interior.
On the dashboard are an array of next-gen features. Using spaital awareness technology and 3D graphics, the Portal can detect when emergency vehicles are near and pull over to let them pass. Facial recognition software also allows the driver and frequent passengers to select preferences in music and air conditioning as well as opening the doors when they approach the parked car. An in-vehicle mobile commerce system also allows passengers to pay for fuel and parking automatically without carrying cash or card.
The Portal was first unveiled at CES 2017 but there are currently no details on price or release date. If it delivers what it promises, it really could be the next stage of driving. For more be sure to check out issue 92 of How It Works where we revealed what the future of driving has in store from virtual showrooms to augumented reality car repairs. Get yours here.
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