DETROIT — Autonomous vehicles will most definitely change how people get around. But Hyundai is taking that idea a little bit further with their new concept of “Mobility Vision.” The Korean-based automaker is working on self-driving cars that can serve as past of your home, apartment or condominium.
Say what? I caught your attention…didn’t I? Hyundai believes that by 2025, your autonomous vehicle could serve as a couch or a row of seating that can be integrated into your living room. You can sit there to watch television, take a nap and then push a button to be automatically transported to a new destination.
Kevin Kang is the creative manager of the Hyundai Kia America Technical Center, Inc. in Irvine, Calif. He discussed Mobility Vision during the Designing the Cockpit of the Future panel session at the 2018 WardsAuto Interiors Conference on Wednesday at Cobo Center in Detroit.
“Can we make the car to make your life easier?” Kang told the audience. “We created this idea called Mobility Vision to make it seamless. Who can make this happen first? We looked at ways to make this happen. We have Hyundai construction under our wing. They build thousands of high rise complexes in South Korea. To kick start the future of combining these elements. We got excited and started sketching about how they could happen. What if car interior space become a room in your house that can transport you to wherever you want to go.”
The creative manager explained that buildings would have to be outfitted with car elevators. He argued that garages are basically “dead spaces” that can be eliminated. The idea seems far fetched, but could become a reality one day.
“It becomes you favorite couch or Lay-Z-Boy and can transition you to another place,” Kang added. “Reading a comic book or an iPad and before you even know it you’re going to your destination. The footprint of the car is part of your house. Garage is an extra dead space. No longer have to waste that space. Design isn’t about styling–more about comfort. Simple serene space. [By] 2025, part of your living room. The beginning of a new connected era. I can’t wait for this day to arrive.”
Meanwhile, FCA’s Chris Benjamin is taking more of a conservative approach when it comes to autonomous vehicles.
“You see autonomous cars with like five people inside…that’s just not possible,” Benjamin explained. “Everyone’s going to be more critical of the machine. If someone dies in an autonomous car, everyone stands up. It will sort itself out. You’re still creating forms and shapes. They are going to be more focused in the sculpture in front of them. What the automobile was for the last 50 years is not what will be for the next 50 years. The car becoming more than just a mode of transportation. How you take technology and integrate it into the car and not lose passion.”
The highlight of the Interiors Conference conference was the announcement of the 2018 Wards 10 Best Interiors. This year’s winning vehicles were: Chevrolet Equinox, Hyundai Kona, Infiniti QX50, Kia Stinger, Lexus LS 500, Lincoln Navigator, Porsche Panamera, RAM 1500, Range Rover Velar and the Toyota Camry.
Many of the industry executives and marketing professionals were on hand to accept their awards.