Inside the Cocoon

Lextant loves this article by Chris Nelson of Automobile Magazine who explores how the interior of the car will change as the autonomous vehicle revolution takes shape.

The article is full of interesting perspectives and quotes.  Here are some of our favorites:

Klaus Bischoff, Volkswagen’s executive director of design: “The traditional automotive interior is built around the driver and the steering wheel for the best possible control and view of the vehicle’s surroundings.  The autonomous interior, however, is based on the passenger’s needs. The autonomous interior gives passengers time to do what they want while getting where they want to go.”

Infiniti’s design boss Karim Habib: “I think we’re going to discover a lot of that, the fact that you have glass around you, showing things whizzing by you,”. Maybe windows will be replaced by energized glass, projecting images of the outside world via a 360-degree camera, darkening to opaque when you ask.

Domagoj Dukec, head of design for BMW i and M, says the movable seat won’t debut until the “seat belt issue” is resolved: Will cars be so predictably safe that there’s no need to buckle up? “We’d need a highly intelligent airbag system that will know immediately how each individual passenger is sitting at that particular moment.”

Mercedes’ director of interior design, Hartmut Sinkwitz, wonders if we need a steering wheel at all. “Maybe we only need a joystick or something that gives you a perfect interaction to really conduct or to really steer and control the car,”

Jose Wyszogrod, chief designer of interior styling and UX/UI for Honda R&D Americas talks to the fact that humans stream 500 million hours of YouTube content every day. “It’s clear that users will continue this behavior in their autonomous vehicles’ personal space,” despite voiced desires to relax or work while not driving.

And one from our own Chris Rockwell who was interviewed for the story:

“The interior of the future needs to be about psychology as much as technology.  The goal is for the experience as a whole to not only meet needs but to anticipate them, inspiring connection, collaboration, and relaxation.”

Click here to read the full article at Automobile Magazine.

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