Rinspeed Senso Concept

From Rinspeed press: The "Senso", which runs on environmentally friendly natural gas, has, not without reason, been labeled the most sensuous car in the world. The "Senso" actually "senses" the driver by measuring his (or her) biometric data, and then exerts a positive effect on him with the help of patterns, colors, music and fragrances. A person who is relaxed and wide-awake simply drives better and more safely.

The whole project is based on an elaborate sensory system that forms the heart of the vehicle. It consists of a number of sensors that have the job of gathering data about the driver's condition. Firstly, there is a biometric Polar watch to measure the driver's pulse. A "Mobile Eye" camera records his driving behavior, in other words how well and how often he changes lane, and how close and at what speed he approaches the cars in front. Then - this, at any rate, is the vision - a HP board computer evaluates the data and establishes, with the aid of special algorithms, the driver's current state of mind.

The developers of the concept car speak, not surprisingly, of "Zen-sorial" – with reference to Far Eastern meditation. On the basis of the measured data, the driver now receives various impulses to his senses that put him in a state of relaxed attentiveness. The idea of 'communicating surfaces' stems from Andreas Fischer, a designer who developed the "zenMotion concept" at the Institute for Computer Sciences at the University of Zurich in close cooperation with the Institute for Psychology at the University of Innsbruck. The inspiration for the development came from studies by scientists dealing with the emotional effect of moving patterns on people. In the "Senso" – depending on the condition of the driver - four small Sharp LCD monitors emit stimulating (orange/yellow), relaxing (blue/violet) or neutral (green) color patterns into the driver's line of vision. They are integrated into the futuristically designed interior paneling, which lights up over the entire area and bathes the cockpit in dazzle-free ambient light.

The 1385 kg lightweight "Senso" is powered by a 3.2-liter boxer engine from the Porsche Boxster S, modified for its service in the "Senso" to run on gasoline and natural gas. As a result, emissions of harmful CO2 are reduced by as much as 30 percent. This is because natural gas is an extremely clean burning fuel, consisting almost entirely of methane with virtually no sulfur. The engine produces 250 bhp/184 kW at 6,200 rpm and has a maximum torque of 300 Nm at 4’600 rpm. A manual six-speed transmission transfers the power to the rear axle. The "Senso" accelerates from 0-100 kph in 5.9 seconds and has a top speed of 250 kph.

Optimum traction is provided by Continental SportContact 2 tires: 235/35 ZR 19 at the front and 255/35 ZR 19 at the rear. They are mounted on 8.5x19" Barracuda rims at the front and 9.5x19" at the rear.

The futuristic body sits on a chassis specially developed by KW automotive. It can be adjusted in terms of both height and hardness. The chassis engineers have succeeded in performing the rare feat of attaining a perfect symbiosis between drive comfort and sporty handling.

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