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Fiat Chrysler unveiling Portal semi-autonomous electric concept at CES

At CES 2017, Fiat Chrysler will unveil the Chrysler Portal concept—a battery-electric, semi-autonomous vehicle with a customizable interior seating up to 6 people. Powered by a 100 kWh Li-ion battery pack, the front-wheel drive (single electric motor) Portal offers more than 250 miles (402 km) of range. A 350kW fast charger supplies about 150 miles of range in less than 20 minutes. This marks the first time FCA has unveiled a vehicle at CES.

FCA says the Portal is capable of SAE Level Three semi-autonomous operation, allowing the driver to turn control over to the vehicle under certain highway situations. The driver must keep monitoring the road and driving environment; a camera mounted on the instrument panel uses facial-recognition software to monitor the driver. If the vehicle determines the driver is not monitoring the road or driving conditions change, it alerts the driver to retake manual control. If the driver does not respond to the alerts, the vehicle will maneuver itself to the side of the road and come to a safe stop.


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.

An array of sensors (LiDAR/radar/sonar/vision) monitor conditions outside and inside the vehicle. FCA worked with Samsung Electronics as its provider of 360˚ cameras and other sensors.

The Portal concept features sliding doors that offer barrier-free entry; the B-pillar is incorporated into the doors. Click to enlarge.

Portal is crammed with connectivity technology; FCA worked with Panasonic on the user experience.


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This is the best concept that I have ever seen from Fiat Chrysler. It has everything right apart from lack of ambition with regard to full autonomy driving. When Tesla can make production cars today with everything it takes to go level 5 for autonomous driving then a concept car from any auto maker should not aim for anything less.

Good to see that 350k watt charging is on the development table also. We may see the first BEVs with this capability in 2018 (perhaps Porsche and Lucid). Tesla will have to respond and come up with something that can match or trump it. One problem with 350k watt charging is that we need both batteries and power electronics that are extremely efficient like over 99% so that the heat buildup during charging does not cause a failure. However, that could be possible by 2018.


As a concept, this surely ticks many boxes.

Retinal tracking has been shown to be effective for some fatigue concentration situations but connected cars and smart phone technology will need to lock the driver from distraction.That technology is also available to prevent drivers device from operating while in the driver seat.

6 seater I'm sure they can leverage the Pacifica's well received layout. Ride share and taxi or Uber AV and microbus compatible.

Provision for future technology upgrade. This is definitely required as most manufactures flagship series will be updating model and their variant features annually adaptability and market driven configuration is time sensitive. What sells in the first quarter may be overtaken by the third. That may be a result of in house offerings or competition from outside.

Investing more in the modular platforms is critical. Longer series production works well for (smart) consumers and industry pockets.

"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."

S.D. comments:

"optional all wheel drive and maybe the means to increase the ground clearance on demand. Increased ground clearance would allow using the vehicle to be used off highway for camping. etc."
Makes sense.
At the concept stage, the wishlist should be as inclusive as possible though as AWD and 4wd can be either soft roader or off roader and it may not be possible to cover both bases with one platform. The soft roader awd with ride height is already stretching weight, (MPGe), technology and cost targets.

To see fiat Chrysler having a go is good as every consumer benefits from competition and their needs are more likely to be met.

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