In Las Vegas at the Consumer Electronics Show, Chrysler was the latest automaker to show a futuristic autonomous driving concept car designed by millennials to appeal to millennials, the Portal.
Tapping their youngest, hip slick and cool within the engineering ranks, Chrysler presents the Portal Concept car, a mobility device that offers flexible seating and cargo scenarios, integration with mobile devices, social media connectivity and most important autonomous driving capability so you can play with all your toys on the go.
Having researched the millennial generation, Chrysler believes this is exactly what they want from the company who has built their fortunes on tire smoking muscle cars, big dual-wheeled trucks, and yest family transportation. The latter is what this all-electric Portal Concept is all about.
With millennials starting families in the next decade, cars like the Portal will become the “third space” as Chrysler puts it. This is the place between work and home where time is spent with your spouse, your partner or your kids.
The interior is thus designed to be evolve for changing needs by adding seating or accessories and providing seamless integration with mobile devices to keep everyone on board happy and content. Seats can fold and slide easily to and fro to make it a luxury cruiser or a cargo hauling machine.
The design itself is like most futuristic concepts aimed at millennials, light, bright and white. Bright accent colors and shiny things abound, lots of information screens. Additional screens can be placed around the interior as well for the passengers.
While it sounds like lifestyle entertainment, it can be functional as well the technology and features that cater to the emerging Lyft and Uber ride services, car sharing and other mobile services.
Slide opening side doors make for easy ingress and egress in the crowded spaces where millennials will live, and as the Portal was designed from the inside out, the exterior design really is an extension of what’s inside.
Taking styling cues from the new Pacifica minivan such as at the rear view and even the face, it manages to be cute and pugnacious yet planted and muscular. LED lighting is featured front and rear along with a Chrysler wing logo at the front that can display charging status.
Because it features a fully electric powertrain, maximum space could be dedicated to its passenger cell. A flat lithium-ion battery pack resides under the floor allowing the Portal a 250 mile range.
And to its autonomous driving capability, it offers SAE Level Three semi-autonomous operation. This status requires a driver’s presence yet they can allow the car to operate entirely on its own with the help of a full array of sensors including LIDAR, radar, sonar and cameras.
While there is no sense the Portal will make it to production any time soon, it shows that Chrysler is working on something beyond the next Hellcat powered muscle car or rockbound Jeep.