Autonomous Vehicles, New Mobility & the Built Environment

The Flexible Vehicle Interior #CES2109

What will happen in the vehicles of tomorrow when the interiors can change dynamically to meet the needs of the passengers and/or owner? Magna, the huge vehicle OEM, is pondering this question and displayed some of their early thinking on this topic at CES2019.

Their early research is about understanding today’s mobility use cases, as well what might be possible when intelligence and autonomy combine to create new use-cases. Magna Seating’s VP of Business Development and Marketing, Joe Niehaus, discusses three use-cases for how a vehicle’s interior might be dynamically reconfigured:

  1. Car sharing with cargo delivery mode, where the seats adapt to meet the needs of various cargo delivery scenarios
  2. Long-trips, where the seats offer massages, have a sleep mode and reconfigure to allow face-to-face interaction for playing games.
  3. Ridesharing mode, where there are features like
    1. sound zones to allow have private conversations,
    2. meeting mode, where the vehicle becomes a virtual conference room with screens

To gain acceptance for these new type of vehicle use-cases, service providers must address the low-tech, human issues; such as what happens when one forgets her briefcase after her in-vehicle meeting? This might mean a seat sensing system that notifies one’s personal app that your item has been left behind.

Although much of what was shown is in R&D, according to Niehaus, they developed some of the technology around a decade ago. As such, they are looking at prototype readiness in the next year to OEMs with production to follow.

Author Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

By Ken Pyle, Managing Editor

Ken Pyle is Marketing Director for the Broadband Forum. The mission of this 25+-year-old non-profit “is to unlock the potential for new markets and profitable revenue growth by leveraging new technologies and standards in the home, intelligent small business, and multi-user infrastructure of the broadband network.”

He is also co-founder of Viodi, LLC and Managing Editor of the Viodi View, a publication focused on the rural broadband ecosystem, autonomous vehicles, and electric aviation. He has edited and produced numerous multimedia projects for NTCA, US Telecom and Viodi. Pyle is the producer of Viodi’s Local Content Workshop, the Video Production Crash Course at NAB, as well as ViodiTV. He has been intimately involved in Viodi’s consulting projects and has created processes for clients to use for their PPV and VOD operations, as well authored reports on the independent telco market.

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One reply on “The Flexible Vehicle Interior #CES2109”

NEVS with its PONS Mobility Ecosystem is introducing an electric vehicle, Sango, designed for ridesharing for families or strangers. It is intended for city use (eventual maximum speed of 70 km/h). AutoX supplies the L4 (meaning it is driverless, but only in limite areas, such as pre-defined city streets) autonomous driving technology. What makes it unique is the seating configuration which adapts to the passengers and includes dynamic dividing walls between seats for those situations where strangers are riding together; a featured that might be a must-have going forward.

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