Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is driving into CES 2017, the big consumer tech show in Las Vegas this week, with an all-new concept car aimed at millennials. Dubbed the Portal, FCA says the concept is designed to adapt as new technologies become available, including autonomous driving and vehicle-to-vehicle communications.
The Portal is meant to be an electric car, minivan and SUV that also grows and transforms with its owners. FCA (FCAU) says it is focusing on millennials as they become more influential consumers.
Right off the bat, the Portal grabs your attention with its massive sliding doors that act as a “portal” to the vehicle. Get it? It’s basically like having the automatic doors from your local 7-11 slapped on a car, except, you know, they look good.
Everything about the Portal’s design screams concept, so don’t expect the final product, if there is one, to look anything like what FCA is showing during CES. That said, the concept is stylish and eye-catching.
Inside, the Portal has a beautiful instrument panel with a 12-inch display. FCA says the car would come with facial and voice recognition technologies to set and activate drivers’ customized settings, including interior and exterior lighting levels, audio preferences and favorite destinations.
Thanks to its LIDAR, radar, sonar and cameras, the Portal is capable of level 3 autonomous driving, which means the car can control itself on the highway, though it would need a human driver to intervene in emergency situations. Interestingly, FCA says consumers will be able to upgrade the Portal to higher levels of autonomy as the technology becomes more reliable.
Vehicle-to-vehicle communication, which the United States Department of Transportation is considering as a requirement in future vehicles, is one of Portal’s main features, meaning the car could “talk” to similarly-equipped vehicles and infrastructure to help avoid collisions.
And for when you want to connect your devices, the Portal has 10 docking stations connected to its instrument panels and seats. The Portal would also be equipped with in-vehicle commerce, which FCA says would let you pay for things like food, parking and charging time from within the car, though FCA doesn’t explain how this would work exactly.
As far as the Portal’s electric capabilities go, FCA claims the vehicle’s battery back gets 250 miles to a single charge. That’s a bit more than GM’s Chevy Bolt, which gets an estimated 238 miles on a charge.
FCA also says the Portal can recharge as much as 150 miles of range in less than 20 minutes. Chevy’s Bolt recharges about 90 miles worth of power in 30 minutes.
We’ll have more on the Portal when we check it out live later this week at CES 2017.
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- Consumer Discretionary