Chrysler Portal Concept Preview

Chrysler Portal Concept Preview

By Christian Wardlaw, January 04, 2017
  • Chrysler Portal Concept front quarter left photo

    Fast Facts:

    • Electric minivan built for Millennials
    • High-tech infotainment, convenience, and automation technologies
    • Estimated to deliver more than 250 miles of driving range
    • Using DC Fast Charger can be juiced for 150 miles of range in 20 minutes
    • Seats up to 6 people in configurable cabin
    • SAE Level 3 autonomous driving technology can be upgraded to Level 4
  • Chrysler Portal Concept rear quarter right photo

    Introduction

    Chrysler introduced the future of personal transportation at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

    Called the Portal Concept, the vehicle is basically an electric minivan designed for autonomous driving, and loaded with futuristic technologies designed to inform and delight occupants while predicting their needs, adapting to their preferences, and simplifying their lives.

    Chrysler claims that the Portal Concept’s design is rooted in 20 years of research of Millennials, people born between 1982 and 2001. The research appears to indicate that Millennials will reject SUVs and crossovers and will “seek their own version of a family vehicle,” one that is “reflective of their personality, offers value and flexibility, integrates advanced technology, and is socially responsible.”

    Other requirements of the ultimate Millennial-mobile, according to Chrysler, include personal style, capability, affordability, and the technological upgradability that allows for long-term ownership.

    Chrysler says the Portal Concept is designed and engineered for all life stages and lifestyles. In addition to serving as personal transportation, the Portal Concept is aimed at ride-hailing, car-sharing, and delivery/courier companies.

    Basically, the Portal Concept represents the ubiquitous transportation pod of the future.



  • Chrysler Portal Concept side profile photo

    Exterior Features

    Looking a little bit like an overgrown Kia Soul, the Chrysler Portal Concept displays what the automaker refers to as a “mono-volume form.”

    The vehicle derives its name from its articulated front and rear doors, which open wide to create a portal-shaped opening to the cabin. These illuminated portals are configurable to different colors and can display a swiping or animated appearance, or project color on the ground beneath the portals. Apparently, Millennials want to own a rolling version of New York’s Times Square.

    Next-generation thin-lens LED headlights illuminate the way forward and the Chrysler Portal Concept rides on attractive 21-in. aluminum wheels.

  • Chrysler Portal Concept interior cutaway photo

    Interior Features

    Chrysler refers to the Portal Concept’s interior as a “third space,” a bridge between home and office. Décor is rendered in neutral and gray hues, accented by jewel tones. Natural light bathes the cabin, permitted by a full-length polycarbonate roof panel.

    Seating accommodates 6 people in 3 rows, and the seats fold flat, fold up and stack, and slide on a system of tracks in the floor. They can also be removed from the rear of the vehicle when necessary. Chrysler refrains from calling this capability Remove ‘N Go.

    Front-seat occupants face a full-width, Active Matrix Organic Light Emitting Diode (AMOLED) display that provides primary instrumentation as well as a 360-degree surround view of the Portal Concept’s exterior surroundings. It is placed above the dashboard to help keep the horizon visible to occupants, which Chrysler says helps to reduce (but not eliminate) the possibility of motion sickness while interacting with the advanced 3-D graphics.

    The dashboard contains a sliding storage tray in front of the passenger, and the pistol-grip steering apparatus tucks away when the vehicle is in autonomous driving mode. Naturally, the Portal Concept is outfitted with oversized infotainment display screens.

  • Chrysler Portal Concept charging port photo

    Under the Hood

    Constructed around a Lithium-ion battery supplying approximately 100 kWh of power and more than 250 miles of range, the Chrysler Portal Concept is an electric vehicle with front-wheel drive. The automaker says the 150-kw electric motor generates 201 horsepower.

    A next-generation Fiat Chrysler Automobiles Powernet electrical architecture is designed for compatibility with components ranging from 12-volt to 800-volt, and when plugged in to a DC Fast Charger the battery recoups 150 miles of driving range in 20 minutes, Chrysler says.

    Deftly integrated, the Portal Concept’s winged Chrysler hood badge is actually a charging indicator light, making it easy to tell with a glance if the vehicle is fully juiced.

  • Chrysler Portal Concept front photo

    Safety

    Equipped with LIDAR, radar, sonar, and vision systems that “constantly monitor conditions outside and inside the vehicle,” the Chrysler Portal Concept is not made for secretive members of the Millennial generation.

    These systems, along with Vehicle-to-X (V2X) communication technology, are necessary to provide SAE Level 3 autonomous driving capability, which allows the driver to turn control over to the vehicle under certain conditions. Chrysler says the Portal Concept is engineered for a Level 4 update.

    Theoretically, then, a production version of the Portal Concept would be a safe vehicle, as it would likely never be involved in a collision.

  • Chrysler Portal Concept user experience with 3-D graphics photo

    Technology

    With the Chrysler Portal Concept, “technology is celebrated.” It can sense users approaching, automatically configuring the vehicle to specific preferences. Facial-recognition and voice-biometrics technology further customize the Portal Concept to individual or family settings. Depending upon who is aboard, predictive intelligence assists with destination and route planning, as well as media and entertainment selections.

    Sourced from Panasonic, the Cognitive Infotainment Platform includes a wireless in-vehicle network with access to the cloud, screens that can be positioned throughout the interior, up to 8 docking stations, and natural voice-recognition capability. Personal Zoned Audio provides unique aural content to individual seating locations and helps to enhance driver situational awareness such as when an emergency vehicle is approaching. A passenger-to-passenger intercom system allows parents to communicate with children.

    A “community sharing” display is affixed to the Portal Concept’s roof for all rear-seat occupants to view. An interior camera facilitates group selfies during road trips, the images automatically distributed to all paired devices for sharing on social networks.

    Allegedly secure, a mobile commerce solution dispenses with the need for the Portal Concept’s owner to carry cash or credit cards. With no more than a confirmation, embedded payment information allows the vehicle to pay for gas, food, and parking. Chrysler also integrates the Portal Concept with smart home technology, which triggers home automation systems when the vehicle pulls into the driveway.


    Additional Research:


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