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In the Rinspeed concept vehicle, passengers and drivers are the focus (Photo: Rinspeed)

Taking the advent of autonomous driving for granted, Rinspeed sees new opportunities for in-car infotainment functions. At the Geneva auto show in March, the Swiss concept-car specialist will unveil a vision of a vehicle designed to allow passengers as well as drivers a new kind of freedom.

"Traveling in a driverless car will no longer require me to stare at the road, but will let me spend my time in a more meaningful way,” said Rinspeed boss Frank Rinderknecht.

Rinspeed will show a fully electric touring sedan called XchangE in Geneva. It has been working on the car with a range of partners, including air-conditioning systems maker Eberspaecher, supplier TRW Automotive, telecommunications group T-Systems, and infotainment specialist Harman International.

The Geneva show car will feature seats modeled on airlines' business class, a new infotainment operating and display concept and a multitude of new safety and service functions. All features of the car are designed to make the most of a journey with a driverless vehicle.

The infotainment system will let driver and passengers listen to music, surf the web, play games, watch movies or hold a meeting while in transit. They can also access all kinds of information they need while traveling.

Because the steering wheel won't be needed any longer, it can be "parked" in the middle of the dashboard, providing more room in the interior of the car.

Rinderknecht said the XchangE will help the car of the future continue to be a competitor to other modes of transportation. Said the Rinspeed CEO: "“I am given free time that I can use for myself anyway I please, while the sensor systems and the computer chauffeur me safely and reliably to my destination.”