Rinspeed's Etos concept car has a drone, Cortana and Office 365

IDG News Service | Jan 13, 2016

This Rinspeed Etos concept car is all business up front with Office 365, Skype video calls and Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant in the dashboard and a party in the back with a drone that will scoot off to pick up shopping or take selfies as you drive.

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The Rinspeed Etos. A flashy self-driving concept car with its own drone, and Office 365.


This car is all business up front with Office 365, Skype video calls and Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant in the dashboard and a party in the back with a drone that will scoot off to pick up shopping or take selfies as you drive.

That makes the Rinspeed Etos one of the most intriguing concept cars in a while. The Swiss company took a BMW i8 and worked with Harman to transform it into a high-tech office of sorts.

But before the productivity stuff, the car has a party trick and it’s not the drone, which I’ll come to later. When the car is put in self driving mode, the steering wheel folds away and the screens move closer so you can watch a movie, do a video call or perhaps all that work Harman envisages.

The Office 365 integration is pretty slick. The car detects the driver’s phone and automatically connects to their account bringing email, scheduling and the like to the two 4K widescreen monitors at the base of the window.

A lot of this is operated through Cortana, Microsoft’s digital assistant.

“I’m tired and a I need a cup of coffee.”

“Got it, we will make a stop off at the next Starbucks.”

“The car is really always a step ahead of me”

The car is surrounded by eight high-def video cameras including these two at the front that provide a 180 degree view across the dashboard displays. It’s especially useful when you’re pulling out into the road.

“You see completely from the left to the right, even if there is a wall blocking my personal line of sight. As the cameras are installed at the tip of the car, I can see this car approaching here and the object detection gives me some more information about it and as soon as the street is clear, I can pull out.”

And then there’s the drone. Sure, it might be a bit impractical but it’s a fun addition.

Rinspeed suggests you could use it to get sweeping shots of you driving the Etos in stunning scenery, use it to take drone selfies as you stop to try out your yoga moves on a hill top or it could save your bacon when you realize you’ve missed a birthday or valentine’s day.

Well, at least that’s the idea. And it’s fanciful ideas that underly all concept cars. They are after all a chance for designers and engineers to have a little fun without worrying about the practicalities of it all.

The Rinspeed Etos is an intriguing concept of what a future car might be.
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