Issue: Mar 2013


Transport app with real wheels



Transport app with real wheels

by Clinton Wright

Swiss innovator Rinspeed has introduced the world to the concept of a Smartphone App which has real wheels. “microMAX” - presented at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show – is designed to merge personal and public transportation over short distances. Creator and Rinspeed founder Frank M. Rinderknecht explains: “Modern ride share centers nowadays are web-based or Smartphone-based. They operate in real time: You need to go to work on a regular basis or want to go somewhere right now and in no time at all you find the driver that’ll give you a ride. “microMAX” with its unique upright seats is the perfect ‘thing’ for swift short-distance transfers - the car to go with the app. ” My, your, our car. “microMAX” is said to define an entirely new class of vehicles.

With a length of 3.6 meters, equivalent to that of a BMW Mini, “microMAX” not only offers plenty of space for the driver, three passengers and a stroller or shopping cart, it also provides the desired privacy. The vehicle height of 2.2 meters permits the installation of comfortable and space-saving upright seats equipped with safety belts - but above all, affords an outstanding sense of spaciousness with homey lounge character. A coffee maker, a refrigerator for the passengers’ happyhour drinks and unlimited connectivity for entertainment purposes or for working while on the move are included. “microMAX aims to encourage potential passengers to get in and ride because it is extremely convenient and simple,” says Rinderknecht. And every passenger decreases CO2 emissions and costs - even the number of traffic jams falls.

It almost goes without saying that “microMAX” is an all-electric vehicle. Different configurations are available for craftsmen or delivery services. Starting in spring 2013 Rinspeed will show half a dozen of its exciting and visionary concept cars and prototypes in the new premises of the Gotthard Motorpark – which is ideally situated in the heart of Switzerland. Founded in 1979, Rinspeed has been at the forefront of automotive innovation since it was the first to make available a headlight grill with rectangular lights – for the VW Golf Turbo. Other innovations include the Rinspeed Aliporta Golf with gullwing doors, the Rinspeed R69 Turbo based on the Porsche 911 Turbo, a large number of other specialty and novelty vehicles including the 2009 Rinspeed iChange which can alter shape.

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