Swiss company Rinspeed’s three-seater Senso may be powered by a Porsche engine, but it’s not a sports car. Instead, the Senso is a gizmo-packed “intuitive” concept that adapts to its driver’s moods.

Swiss company Rinspeed’s three-seater Senso may be powered by a Porsche engine, but it’s not a sports car. Instead, the Senso is a gizmo-packed “intuitive” concept that adapts to its driver’s moods.


Unveiled at the Geneva Show on Tuesday, the Senso uses biometric data collected from its driver to set the cabin ambience, adapting the lighting, colours, patterns and even music and fragrances to help keep the driver relaxed yet alert.


It collects data via a wrist watch (it is made in Switzerland, after all), which measures pulse rate, and a “mobile eye” camera which monitors a driver’s on-road behaviour such as the way he or she changes lanes, distance from the car in front, speed (and so forth) to discern levels of aggression or frustration.


“Smart surface” LCD monitors then emit light in yellow/orange, blue/violet or neutral green patterns, and fragrances are released: a calming vanilla-mandarin or a stimulating citrus-grapefruit. If the driver is about to nod off, for example, motors in the seat can shake him or her awake, a Rinspeed spokesman was quoted as saying.


Further technologies incorporated in the Senso are a satellite-linked emergency call system and fingerprint recognition technology to identify the driver and adjust the cabin settings accordingly.


The Senso's cabin has a centrally-positioned front seat for the driver and two passenger seats behind. It is finished in carbon-compound materials with Italian designer fabrics, but the overall effect is "clear-cut, no-nonsense", the company said.


The bodywork is a recyclable plastic composite, with scratchproof polycarbonate windscreen, and an eggshell matt-effect finish (developed by chemical consortium Bayer) replaces conventional paint. The windscreen weighs little more than half as much as a conventional glass screen, and Rinspeed said that it "opens up entirely new possibilities for car designers."


Weighing just 1 385kg, the rear-wheel drive Senso is powered by the Porsche Boxster S's 3,2-litre flat-six, modified to run on both petrol and clean-burning natural gas, and has a custom-built adjustable chassis developed by KW Automotive.


Rinspeed head Frank Rinderknecht said "the driver, and not the technology, should be the focal point of the car."


Bayer spokesman Johannes Seesing added: "Together with our partners in the automotive industry, we are already carrying out research on the car of tomorrow. The Senso is an outstanding example of unconventional ideas and lateral thinking."

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