Selfie-taking concept car for Millennials
NEW YORK — What do Millennials want from a car?
Chrysler unveiled its Portal concept car at the Consumer Electronics Show Tuesday, and it has a long list of features based on 20 years of research into exactly what Millennials want from a car, according to Fiat Chrysler.
Technology is at the center of it all, starting with the Portal’s plug-in ports for the mobile devices belonging to every passenger in the car.
So the car can take a photo of everyone riding in all six seats — which is critical for any road trip — and then send the image to everyone’s devices so it can be shared on social media.
Music is also a big part of the driving experience for these important potential customers, so the Portal lets everyone in the car share songs and videos to create a single playlist for everyone to listen to. Even cooler, the car’s stereo has “zoned audio” that lets each passenger listen to different things without using headphones. The same technology can also amplify specific external sounds for the driver, such as the siren of an approaching ambulance.
A shared display screen in the van’s ceiling allows occupants to put together a combined playlist with tracks from all the occupants’ personal devices, according to Fiat Chrysler. It can also be used for things like putting together a drive-through dinner order. In fact, the car can even pay for those fries and shakes by securely linking to the payment information.
The interior is fully customizable, of course. Interior LED accent lighting can be changed to any color — a feature available on some cars today — and the seats can be moved back and forth on tracks and even removed entirely to create more storage space.
With cameras mounted on the outside of the vehicle, the Portal can use facial recognition software to recognize various people approaching the vehicle. That way, the car’s interior and entertainment features can be automatically customized to best suit them.
The Portal is all-electric with a range of 250 miles on a full charge, to accommodate Millennials’ environmental mind set. With fast charging, it can go 150 miles after just 20 minutes of charging.
While the Portal is capable of limited self-driving, the driver is expected to be able to take over at any time, so the vehicle still has a steering wheel and pedals. The steering wheel folds away into the dashboard when not in use.
Since this is just a concept car, it’s not clear of the car on display at CES can actually do any of the things Fiat Chrysler says it can. The company has not revealed any plans to actually produce a vehicle like the Portal.