Electric, modular, autonomous: the mobility of the future

MetroSnap the concept car

Electric, modular, autonomous: the mobility of the future

What will the mobility of the future be like? The answer from Rinspeed is: "Electric, modular, autonomous." The concept-vehicle developer has designed a self-propelled car that can transport goods and people in safety and comfort. One of the partners for this showcase is Zurich.
The MetroSnap is the latest concept vehicle from Zumikon's Rinspeed AG. Frank M. Rinderknecht is Rinspeed's founder and CEO; he introduced the MetroSnap to the world at the CES in Las Vegas in January 2020. The idea was also recently presented in a live showcase at the Swiss Digital Days – together with Sandra Hauser, Chief Technology Officer of Zurich Switzerland. Zurich is supporting the project and has developed an insurance concept for using the MetroSnap.

Looking to the future

Rinspeed develops and builds the concept vehicles of the future, making it a source of inspiration for the automotive industry. Adjusting the radio or answering the phone from the steering wheel is just one of many visions that Rinspeed has come up with over the past decades and which have now been implemented in many car models. "We want to look to the future and move the world – in the truest sense of the word," says Frank M. Rinderknecht, explaining his mission.

Taxi, courier vehicle or mobile supermarket

The special thing about MetroSnap is: There is the option to install a passenger cabin or goods container on a platform. Hence the MetroSnap can be turned into a luxurious taxi, courier vehicle or mobile pick-up station as desired. The solar panel and electric motor make the vehicle move in a green and sustainable way. No driver is present during the study: the MetroSnap is controlled via app and moves passengers or goods autonomously.

The path to autonomous mobility

The MetroSnap is still just an exciting vision, and it will be some time before such vehicles can be seen on Swiss roads. "We will approach autonomous mobility in a step-by-step manner," says Frank M. Rinderknecht. "To begin with, there will be autonomous vehicles in certain places or for certain situations. Then automation will propagate gradually." In the meantime, it is important to identify and mitigate possible dangers of autonomous driving.

Protecting transmitted data streams

For a vehicle to find its way without a driver, large data streams must be moved around in real time. "And this is where we come in as an insurer," explains Sandra Hauser. "Cybersecurity is a huge issue in autonomous mobility. Rinspeed is an exciting test case for this. It also allows us to gain experience in situational, usage-based insurance" 

Supporting customers in a digitized world

Sandra Hauser is convinced that digitization pertains not only to autonomous driving, it is also having an effect on all areas of life: "But the more we digitize and network, the more vulnerable we become to cyber risks. We will therefore develop new services: we want to protect our customers' data before a cyber attack can even occur.
Portrait of Sandra Hauser Chief Technology Officer of Zurich Switzerland

Sandra Hauser,
CTO and member of Executive Management, Zurich Switzerland

Sandra Hauser has been heading the Transformation & Technology division at Zurich Switzerland since August 2019. Her mission is to place greater emphasis on digital transformation and modern technologies and to encourage the organization to focus on new developments and challenges in the insurance market. Sandra Hauser holds a degree in information technology from ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) and is also a certified financial analyst and asset manager.

Portrait of Frank M. Rinderknecht CEO Rinspeed

Frank M. Rinderknecht,
Founder & CEO of Rinspeed AG

Frank M. Rinderknecht is the founder and CEO of Rinspeed AG from Zumikon in the Canton of Zurich. The company has been developing its own concept cars since 1995 and today sees itself as a think tank for the automotive industry. In addition, Rinspeed develops innovative technologies, materials and tomorrow's means of transport. Rinspeed's latest project is the autonomous concept car, Rinspeed MetroSnap.

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