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Snap on target

September 12, 2018
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Regular readers of this column will recall that I visited ZF, in Friedrichshafen, Germany, last month in order to attend the company’s Technology Day. We saw lots of amazing stuff – but this really takes the cake, doesn’t it?

This is the Rinspeed Snap mobility concept. It is made up of a “skateboard” in the form of the Intelligent Dynamic Driving Chassis from ZF. This is a platform specially developed by ZF for autonomous electric vehicles. Depending on the application, you simply click a body to the skateboard … and off you go! It is powered by a 50-kW electric motor and it turns on a tickey, making it just perfect for city traffic.

Naturally it doesn’t require a driver. However, it can come with an optional “personal assistant” in the form of an autonomous, intelligent robot to accompany the occupants. The robot (which never wants a wage increase, nor takes off sick) is happy to help with running errands, carrying purchases, or handling other tedious tasks.

We like.

My friends call me a glomad (a global nomad lest you don’t get it). That’s a particularly apt word, because I am always trawling all corners of the globe, looking for stories. As a result, I have slept in some seriously strange places – on a bed of ice in the Arctic circle, on the floor in a traditional Japanese hotel, on the sand dunes in the Wadi Rum Desert in Jordan … and even on the floor of a Thai cargo ship. Mostly however I tend to sleep on aircraft (if I had a dog, he would bark at me when I eventually come home). I am passionate about trucks, cars, travel, food, wine, people and hugs – so I write about all these things. Except the hugs.

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