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Rinspeed Delivers More Weirdness — Budii Concept Turns BMW i3 Into An Autonomous Car With A Periscope

If you’ve ever wished for a car that can drive itself, features what looks like a periscope, and has a “wellness shower” (if not you, maybe your kid?), well your wish has now been granted.

The Swiss company Rinspeed has delivered yet more weirdness, with the recent Budii Concept car — which is essentially just a BMW i3 that’s been outfitted with an autonomous driving system, which is partly dependent upon that strange-looking (and dangerous?) periscope thing….

Rinspeed Budii

This recent offering follows on the heels of a similar, recent concept car based on the Tesla Model S — turning it into something like a “self-driving lounge.”

Gas2 provides some more details and thoughts:

That periscope isn’t just for funsies though; it’s an integral part of the autonomous driving system, which also includes a laser-scanning system and drive-by-wire steering wheel that can be switched between either the driver or passenger’s side. Or if you want, just hand over driving to the car, kick back, and enjoy some of the many opulent features Rinspeed crammed into this modified Bimmer. Seriously, who needs an automatic watch winder or a “wellness shower” (whatever the hell THAT is) in their car? Also, the way the steering wheel moves itself on that articulated arm is kinda creepy. But maybe that’s just me.

One thing that can’t be denied is Rinspeed’s dedication to thinking differently, and I thought some features, like the plug-in holder that connects the Budii to your smartphone, are clever touches that could inspire production models. There’s also plenty of touchscreens and LCD screens to go around, ensuring you’re never forced to interact with the other passengers in your autonomous car.

You’ll likely have also noticed the ambient lighting.

I don’t know quite what to make of this. Bit weird really. While it is a concept car, it still seems quite strange. Maybe like something a certain embattled French politician currently in legal trouble would appreciate, especially the ambient lighting I suppose. The sound of the name when you say it does seem to imply something of that sort, after all.

Image Credit: Rinspeed

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Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy.


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