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Rinspeed's made a self-driving BMW i8 with its very own drone

Swiss tuner gives the i8 autonomous tech, a posh watch and a drone. Why? Um, why not?

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Autonomous driving, drones, and the BMW i8: three techy things that have featured more than once on this year.

So as 2015 draws to a close, here’s something slightly mad that combines all three. Meet the Rinspeed Σtos.

Swiss tuner Rinspeed is, of course, no stranger to oddball concepts. The Σtos’s BMW i8 innards are probably its most sensible component, and its carbonfibre core and 362bhp petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain remain intact.

While its fundamental points remain, Rinspeed has rather gone to town with its own flourishes. The door pulls and gear selector are recognisable inside, but little else: there are lots of fancy high-tech materials, while the steering wheel can be sucked from view when autonomous driving modes are activated. See the slider below…

When you are driving it - if it’s anything like the i8, you’ll actually want to, after all - the Σtos does much to massage stress away. For example, a “gaze-tracking system” watches the driver’s eyes and alerts them to hazards in the road ahead they’ve missed.

Its media and connectivity gubbins, meanwhile, aim to learn the needs of drivers and passengers, so it knows the destinations of your plans and your desires of the entertainment system without you having to input a thing. It watches your every move and reads all your thoughts. Be scared.

Far more whimsical is its on-board drone, complete with landing pad. A landing pad which, in the words of Rinspeed, houses “an armada of 12,000 individually controlled LEDs,” which “can transform this platform into an electronic message board or a visual dancefloor”.

Why a drone? The only possible way to do it justice is to quote Rinspeed directly. “The little flyer is a lot of fun when it acts like a UFO, shooting a selfie of the ride in the Σtos on your local favourite route and streaming it live to friends. Heads up: that little thing has an extremely high addiction and envy factor!”

And if you need a break from all that bewildering tech, solace comes atop the dashboard in the shape of a ten grand Carl F. Bucherer watch, which sits in a rotating housing to keep it wound up.

The Σtos - drone, fancy watch an’ all - will make its debut at the CES show in Las Vegas in early January. will be there. We imagine your envy factor is high…

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