Chrysler Portal Concept is a Semi-Autonomous EV for the Future

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Chrysler Portal Concept is a Semi-Autonomous EV for the Future

This appears to be the concept that Chrysler is going for as the company has recently taken the wraps off the new Portal concept minivan at CES 2017.

The Portal is powered by a a lithium-ion battery pack, rated at about 100 kilowatt-hours (kWh), and can run for more than 250 miles after a full charge. The Portal features an array of sensors composed of radar, LiDAR, cameras, and sonar - some of which were provided by collaborator Samsung Electronics. Chrysler's Portal concept might be shorter than a Pacifica with its 118.2-inch wheelbase, but its completely flat floor and huge openings on both sides should make it roomy and easier to access while its compact size provides benefits in the city. The company explains the show vehicle was developed for millennials, by millennials.

Also present are six-aircraft style seats that are mounted on rails that allow them to move around and be removed.

Ralph Gilles, Fiat Chrysler's head of design, said the Portal was designed from the inside out, with designers aiming to create a "third space" for the commute between home and work. Chrysler is billing this primarily as a feature aimed at personalizing different settings - presumably things like seat position and the like - but it also clearly has security implications, such as being used to prevent unauthorized drivers from commandeering the vehicle.

Chrysler Portal Concept is a Semi-Autonomous EV for the Future
Chrysler Portal Concept is a Semi-Autonomous EV for the Future

The inside of the van is designed for autonomous driving, but Chrysler says that it would only launch with level 3 autonomy, which requires driver supervision, and it would be upgradeable for when level 4 and 5 are feasible.

The company says the Portal is engineered to upgrade to higher levels of autonomy as technology progresses, and if the owner is interested in adding it.

The Chrysler Portal is merely a concept, and it's not expected to receive the green light for production any time soon. Engineers have integrated no less than 10 docking stations in the cabin.

FCA will hold a press conference at CES in Las Vegas, Tuesday at 1 p.m. Designed for millennials, the high-tech auto is a sleeker version of the Pacifica minivan, and comes equipped with tech that enables V2V (vehicle-to-vehicle) and V2I (vehicle-to-infrastructure) communication.

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