Reimagining car interiors – Just Auto

In an era where the essence of what a car interior is – how it feels, looks and works – is rapidly changing, a vision of tomorrow’s interior can seem hazy. But there is never a shortage of concept cars that give us a glimpse of what the future could hold.

Skoda’s vision for the future

Skoda’s PR machine recently dropped a bird’s eye view of the all-electric Vision 7S concept, taking the signature slogan ‘Simply Clever’ to another level. In addition to sustainable materials, the minimalist interior is characterized by space for up to seven people in three rows of seats on a completely flat floor. The symmetrical wraparound design includes a wide, horizontal dashboard that extends to the doors and enhances the sense of space. Interior technologies include haptic controls, mood lighting and door panels with interactive visual elements. The integrated child seat is hidden in the center console, which according to the Czech brand is the safest place in a car. The backrests of the front seats are equipped with holders for multimedia devices for passengers in the second and third row.

Skoda’s Vision 7S concept

Audi’s take on urban EVs

Designers and engineers initially designed the Audi urbansphere for use in traffic-tight Chinese megacities, although the concept is also suitable for any city worldwide. The Beijing and Ingolstadt design studios collaborated to develop the concept car, one of three Audi has unveiled with the aim of providing a far-reaching vision of future mobility. The doors of the four-seater are hinged at the front and rear and have no B-pillar. The seats can swivel out to make it easier to get in and out. A virtual red carpet of light is projected onto the ground next to the vehicle when the doors are opened. The dashboard is replaced by a screen projected onto a wooden panel. Occupants in the rear can sit back and watch movies on a huge OLED screen that folds down from the roof.

Audi urbansphere concept

GACs hydrogen powered van

China’s Guangzhou Automobile Group (GAC) recently unveiled its hydrogen-powered minivan concept known as the Space. The interior reflects both a journey through Chinese culture and the sights of the city of Guangzhou, home to GAC’s headquarters. The L-shaped sofa really resembles a lounge-on-wheels. Rows of stripes grow behind the sofa and then extend to the roof in the middle where the skylights float like a cloud. Designers say passengers will enjoy not only a comfortable space, but also a theatrical visual experience. The three-level front row display system consists of a face recognition display, a fabric touch screen and an IP display on the front. The Space is equipped with Level 4 semi-autonomous driving system technology. When activated, the steering wheel and face recognition display in the dashboard change.

GAC’s The Space concept

Sustainable supplier innovations

Grupo Antolina has unveiled a new virtual interior concept car called in-Pulse. It is the result of the North America Innovation Department’s vision of a flexible automotive interior space. The interior is based on an electric SUV with level 4 autonomy. Notable features include the use of active acoustic systems, the projection of information on interior surfaces or personalized functional lighting integrated into the headliner, and retractable sun visors that activate automatically only when needed. Trendy smart surfaces also feature prominently in this concept through a new generation of trim and decorative elements. Sustainability is of course another priority objective. The use of natural and sustainable materials integrated into this design includes cork, stone and vegan leather.

Grupo Antolin .’s in-Pulse concept

Continental has developed a high-quality surface material that can be applied to instrument panels, door panels, center consoles, seat covers and headrests. “On the road to sustainable vehicle interiors, Benova Eco Protect is an important milestone in product development,” says Gabriele Wittmann, Global Director of Research at Continental. “By consistently avoiding critical ingredients, plasticizers and solvents, the material is particularly low in emissions and odor and has a low environmental footprint of the product.” The material is currently produced in Germany. Further production capacity will be made available at Continental’s US plant in Winchester, Virginia.

Continental’s new surface material also improves work in the AMBIENC3 concept car

Faurecia works together with Veolia to develop connections for automotive interior modules, aiming to achieve an average of 30% recycled content by 2025. The pair will accelerate the implementation of pioneering sustainable interior solutions implemented in instrument panels, door panels and center consoles in Europe. The use of recycled plastics is one of the major challenges for the automotive industry as it plays an important role in reducing CO2 emissions and improving the environmental performance of the car.

In 2011, Faurecia was the first automotive supplier to introduce a complete range of biocomposite cockpit solutions with NAFILean

While SAE Level 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles offer suppliers and OEMs many opportunities to rethink the vehicle’s cabin, there are still plenty of hurdles to overcome. For example, many of today’s well-understood safety parameters are formulated with the knowledge that drivers and passengers will be forward-facing with three-point seat belts and other occupant restraint systems designed for these limits. Rearranging the vehicle cabin, at level 4 autonomy and beyond, with a wide variety of seating arrangements introduces much more complexity for passive safety in the cabin and could mean that many of OEMs and suppliers’ visions for future vehicle interiors are never fully realized.

Whatever the future holds for automotive interiors, it’s clear that the driver and passenger experience is changing, with advanced technologies that can increase safety and reduce driver stress, as well as open up new opportunities for passengers. to open.

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