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Drive this car into a train!

Last updated on: June 18, 2010 15:05 IST

Drive this car into a train!

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If I told you that I saw a car 'alighting' from the very train I travelled in, how would you react? Yes, you would say I have lost my mind. But trust me, this will soon be a reality!

Swiss automobile and concept powerhouse Rinspeed is creating not just a car but a entire mobility concept. The highly likeable two-seater is aptly named 'UC?', which stands for 'Urban Commuter'.

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Image: Rinspeed UC.
Photographs: Courtesy, Rinspeed.
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Drive this car into a train!

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This battery-powered electric vehicle (EV) can be loaded into a train - allowing long-distance commuters to take their car with them.

The UC? is 102 inches long and 64 inches wide, and built atop a very short 71-inch wheelbase. It uses lithium-ion battery pack, which powers an electric motor capable of a scant 40 horsepower and 96 pound-feet of torque.

The UC? is meant for city use, so top speed is only 75 mph, according to Rinspeed. In place of a steering wheel, there's a "force-feedback joystick" and drive-by-wire Space Drive.

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Image: Rinspeed UC beside a train.
Photographs: Courtesy, Rinspeed.
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Drive this car into a train!

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The UC? can be driven like any other electric car, says Rinspeed, but the ability to put it on a train is the big idea here.

Rinspeed envisions a transverse loading system and special rail cars, allowing "numerous UC vehicles" to be loaded simultaneously and rapidly.

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Image: Rinspeed UC.
Photographs: Courtesy, Rinspeed.
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Drive this car into a train!

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The company aims to integrate individual car ownership and public transportation. Train passages can be booked and reserved online directly from the vehicle.

Harman International provides the permanent 3G internet connection. The VoIP2Car technology provides IP telephone service, video chat, video conferences, e-mail and many more features in the "UC?".

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Image: Rinspeed UC.
Photographs: Courtesy, Rinspeed.
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Drive this car into a train!

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Integrated charging stations on board the custom railcars ensure the "UC?" battery is once again fully charged for maximum operating range on arrival.

During the train trip, drivers can visit the train restaurants, use any of the other train amenities or spend time in the cars.

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Image: Rinspeed UC.
Photographs: Courtesy, Rinspeed.
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A car visionary Frank M. Rinderknecht, founder of Rinspeed, says "I can make more efficient use of my time than spending it driving on a boring highway. I would rather visit the train restaurant or retreat to work in my car."

He is already in discussions with international railroad companies about his new mobility concept.


Image: Rinspeed UC.
Photographs: Courtesy, Rinspeed.
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