Rinspeed, the Swiss automotive think tank, will present a concept for a new class of all-electric urban vehicle at the 2013 Geneva Motor show. Dubbed the “microMAX,” the vehicle is intended for short-haul ride sharing and boasts an unusual upright passenger-seating arrangement.
The microMaX is designed around the idea of encouraging more people to travel as passengers, as a way of reducing carbon emissions and urban congestion. This is reflected not only in the layout of the car, but also in how it uses smartphones to make it easier to hitch a ride. According to Frank M. Rinderknecht, Founder and CEO of Rinspeed, “Modern ride share centers nowadays are web-based or smartphone-based. They operate in real time: You need to go to work on a regular basis or want to go somewhere right now and in no time at all you find the driver that’ll give you a ride. ‘microMAX’ with its unique upright seats is the perfect ‘thing’ for swift short-distance transfers – the car to go with the app.”
By “upright,” Rinderknecht means that the passengers are practically standing. This may seem a bit uncomfortable, but the microMAX is only intended for short hauls. The seating arrangement means that the car only has a length of 3.6 meters (11.8 ft), which is about that of a BMW Mini, and it still leaves enough space for a stroller or shopping cart. It also means that it has a height of 2.2 meters (7.2 ft), so this is probably a car you want to avoid making sharp turns in.
In addition to the upright seats, the microMAX also has a coffee maker, a refrigerator for the “passengers’ happy-hour drinks” and unlimited connectivity. Rinspeed also says that the car can be fitted with equipment modules for craftsmen or delivery services.
The 2013 Geneva Motor Show runs from March 7th through the 17th.