Behold more technological advances in the motoring industry as Switzerland, famous for neutrality, graces the world with the presence of the MicroMAX – the ‘network swarm car’, a public/private commuter vehicle.
Frank M. Rinderknecht of Swiss creative powerhouse Rinspeed has, some might say cleverly, designed the ultimate commuter vehicle in collaboration with Harman. Oh, and it’s electric. With a height of 2.2 metres and length of 3.6 metres (similar to that of the Mini), 3 up-right seats (which are clearly body weight restrictive) that allow you stand up with support and room for a screaming child’s pushchair or shoppers trolley, this is the personal-cum-public commuter vehicle for those that want to get from A-B and work on the move.
This is known as the “car for the app” which is custom-developed by Harman, allowing road users to enter their wanted destination and the magic of urbanSWARM community uses Cloud technology to give users real-time information about routes, destinations, travelling speeds, occupancy of vehicles and any necessary transfer options. So bit like a bus really or the Tube, except you can’t get your bike on the roof of the Tube, you can on the MicroMAX. And pedestrians can hear you coming thanks to HALOsonic technology from Harman, giving the vehicle, that has an all-electric fork-lift drive system, a bit of ‘vroom vroom’ action. You know – making it feel like a real car, so it can go play with the big boys.
From what I gather, the idea behind this quirky little invention is this: you can have a permanent car-pooling car, by driving yourself and regular commuters to work; or any old Joe can hop on by finding you on an app, use your coffee making facilities, fridge and wi-fi connectivity and get from A to B. What I can’t grasp is, is there a permanent driver? With Harman NFC (Near Field Communication) passengers and drivers are identified and the driver controls the majority of the vehicles functions via a 9-inch touchscreen found in the dashboard.
If all goes well, and this plucky yet strange concept gets put into production, cost can be seen to be from between €5000 and €10,000, which all comes down to how much materials and features will cost.