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Chrysler’s Portal is the Self-Driving Concept Minivan for Millennials

Usually, at CES 2017, we tend to see what the future of cars will look like, specifically self-driving cars. Plenty have already shown their potential futures off to the public such as Mercedez-Benz, but one company who recently scored big with the refreshed Pacifica minivan is looking to throw another hat into the ring, this time with a target of millennials.

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Meet the Chrysler Portal concept car. No, it’s not a minivan, but at the same time, it is. See, Chrysler isn’t calling it a “minivan,” per se, but they are targeting millennials and their families by implementing various technologies this particular group of people have already grown accustomed to. In addition, the company’s also calling the vehicle a “family car,” and we all know the definition of that is basically a minivan.

Chrysler says they used a team of millennials to design and build the Portal from the inside out, complete with various technologies and features the younger audience will appreciate. For instance, facial recognition helps to set profiles for various drivers in order to make the car comfortable and to their liking when they get behind the wheel, a bunch of cameras in each seat are present for selfies, Personal Zoned Audio lets passengers and drivers listen to one’s own music without overlaps (in other words, headphones without headphones), seamless integration with one’s phone or tablet allows for a more customized experience based on one’s habits with his or her own portable devices, and Level 3 (or possibly Level 4 thanks to a software upgrade) self-driving mode will allow drivers to become passengers and be taken to their destination without having to worry about turning the wheel. All of this technology is available in the Portal, but it’s anyone’s guess as to whether half of it is even useful or not.

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In terms of the naming, the Portal likely got its title from the doors on either side of the car that open like elevator doors, creating a “portal,” if you will, for passengers to enter. Once inside, you’ll notice “an impressive degree of flexibility between seating and cargo configurations” alongside a unique “third space” which “provides an alternative environment between work and home.” Whatever that means.

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Since Chrysler’s own description of the rest of the interior of the Portal is so priceless, I’m gonna include it below just for the heck of it. You’re welcome, world.

Spacious and modern, the interior features soft, clean, sculptural lines that are colored in a mix of neutral and grey hues accented by jewel tones; the interior space takes advantage of a tasteful and elegant mix of textures and materials.

Premium seating is standard for all occupants with thin-design seats that fold flat, fold up and slide fore/aft on a track system for ultimate flexibility. The seats mount to tracks embedded in the floor. This enables the seats to move the full length of the vehicle and, if needed, to be removed easily from the rear of the vehicle.

There’s even a custom light pattern on the body of the Portal, so no matter what mode the car is in (e.g. driving, locked, unlocked), it’ll indicate via a custom light setting.

The lighting on the Chrysler Portal concept is an interactive experience, as well as a communication tool. The vehicle is equipped with full-color, changing LED lighting on the front, side portals and rear. Not only can the light take on different colors, it can have a swiping or animated appearance. Interactive ground projection and portal lighting are available in infinite colors that can be tailored for personal, business or drive settings, such as when the vehicle is parked, locked/unlocked or in autonomous mode.

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Since this is an electric car, the Portal features a battery that can last 250 miles on a full charge. You’ll be able to charge the vehicle quickly thanks to 350 kilowatt DC Fast Charge, while the industry-accepted Combined Charging System (CCS) plug is used for charging and the Chrysler winged badge is used as a charging indicator.

All in all, there’s a lot going on in this car. Chrysler says this is their target approach for the family vehicle in 2020, but as we’re still three years away from this time and the Portal is still considered a concept, lots of things will likely change. For instance, I can’t really see those selfie cameras sticking around too much longer, while the design will probably receive the majority of the change. Nevertheless, for those curious, you can read more about the Chrysler Portal here.

Now we just wait for Chrysler to tell us when the Portal will be available and how much it’ll cost.

Fun.


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