From Google to BMW, the race is on to develop self-driving cars that will make roads safer, but key features about how comfortable they will be inside has been lacking.
A design by seat technology firm Johnson Controls, however, suggests passengers will face each other in the car of the future and the ‘driver’s seat’ will be replaced by a comfortable control unit.
It predicts this ‘paradigm shift’ will happen in around 2035.
‘Autonomous driving is on its way,’ said Dr Detlef Jürss, group vice president at Johnson Controls.
‘It is not something that will happen overnight, though, but rather over a period of gradual development.’
‘In the future, the role of the person in the driver’s seat will shift from that of an “active driver” to that of a “supervisor” who must be able to intervene whenever necessary.
‘The seat will become a multi-talented interior component that provides its strengths in safety, comfort, and entertainment.’
However, he believes this vision is a still decades away, as are cars where the vehicle takes over all control functions, effectively making the driver a passenger.
The company predicted there will be ‘minimal’ change to interiors in 2025, as consumers start to buy ‘driverless cars’ which still require input from a driver.
But from 2035 onwards, it said there will be a ‘potential paradigm shift’ in interiors as drivers will only need to type in their desired destination.