When you think of an autonomous car, what comes to mind? We bet it's not a minivan.
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) is looking to change your perception of where cars are heading with the Chrysler Portal, an all-electric, autonomous concept unveiled at the big CES 2017 tech expo.
The Portal is essentially the minivan of the future, "created by millennials for millennials," a phrase that usually makes us roll our eyes but one that FCA is banking the car's eventual success on.
Taking the wants and needs of this generation into consideration, the Portal is designed to be eco-friendly, adapt to have enough space for families and be filled to the brim with tech, including an in-car wireless network to meet the ever-present need to connect with friends via social media.
FCA describes the Portal as creating a "third space", somewhere between work and home where passengers can relax. While not a car that will drive by itself in any condition, the Portal has a semi-autonomous mode and can be upgraded to Level Four autonomous driving if the owner wishes. Level 4 essentially allows for the car to be in complete control in ideal driving conditions.
Running a single 150kw/201 horsepower electric motor, the Portal has an estimated range of more than 250 miles on a full charge, and its battery pack can juice up to 150 miles in under 20 minutes.
In addition to beating the Tesla Model 3 when it comes to range (though not horsepower), the Portal isn't skimping on tech.
It will feature facial and voice recognition capabilities to set interior and exterior preferences, vehicle-to-X communication so it can connect with infrastructure, the ability to integrate with every type of device you could own, and, of course, tons of sharing features.
While we don't have a release date or price for the Chrysler Portal yet, it sounds as though FCA wants to keep it budget friendly. We'll keep an ear out for any further word on when the Portal will come to life.
- New year, new tech – check out all our coverage of CES 2017 straight from Las Vegas, the greatest gadget show on Earth