When the Chrysler Portal was first shown off during the 2017 North American International Auto Show, the automotive community may have thought the self-driving concept would present itself to consumers in the distant future. Reports are suggesting, however, that the automotive world may be seeing the Chrysler Portal EV entering production as early as 2020.
A Portal to the Future
The 2017 unveiling of the Chrysler Portal EV minivan indicated that Chrysler’s future may lie heavily in autonomous driving. This year we’ve already seen the Chrysler Pacifica launch with Waymo to create the world’s first autonomous ride-hailing service. And while Chrysler does not currently have a self-driving system of its own, the partnership with Waymo will certainly assist in Chrysler’s autonomous efforts. Of course, automotive makers still have a fair amount of research to conduct before a fully autonomous vehicle can enter production. The concept itself is said to have Level 3 self-driving capabilities, meaning that the car can drive itself in suitable conditions for a limited amount of time. Still, this would put Chrysler in an exclusive category of automakers when it comes to offering certain technologies to consumers.
By Millennials, For Millennials
During the design phase, the designers of the Chrysler Portal had specifically asked what millennials look for in a vehicle. They wanted to market the Portal as a vehicle for millennials, by millennials. And with its ultra-modern design and standout features, it certainly screams “the future”. One of these features being a fold-away steering wheel, gives drivers the option to stow it away while the self-driving system is in use. In the 1980s, Chrysler was one of the first automakers to introduce sliding doors on their minivan and history is repeating itself, as the Portal concept also boasts a pair of sliding doors – one for the front row and one for the back row. Additionally, the Portal will carry a 100-kilowatt-hour battery pack capable of a 250-mile range and an electric motor driving the front wheels.
There has been a bit of speculation surrounding where the Portal will be built. There was talk in 2018 that may have hinted at the Windsor Assembly Plant in Ontario, Canada, however that has not been confirmed. And wIth Chrysler’s new Jeep plant that will be opening in Detroit, there’s no telling where the Chrysler concept will call home. Either way, if Chrysler is able to create the necessary components and technologies during the next couple of years, then consumers may get a glimpse of the future a little sooner than they thought.
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