Over the next decade, cars and car driving will make huge strides forward, according to Bosch. However, these new functions also have repercussions for the design of car interiors. Presenting a vision of what the interiors of future vehicles could possibly look like, Bosch exhibited a new show car at re:publica 2016, May 2-4, in Berlin. The car also tackled how car and driver will soon be able to communicate with each other and the possibilities that will arise from this.
Highly automated driving on the freeway will do more than significantly improve safety and fuel efficiency, says the company. From the cars of the future, drivers also will be able to communicate – including by video conference – with others, such as friends, family or coworkers.
Bosch CEO Dr. Volkmar Denner firmly believes that the “car of the future will be a new digital living environment.” He added, “Alongside the home and the office, the car will become the third living space and a personal assistant.”
re:publica 2016 is the 10th edition of this event and provided a platform for discussion of the many and diversified issues related to digital society.
New display and user interfaces
The show car’s human-machine interface follows an integrated approach. It provides the driver with one single interface that supplies information in an interactive form. Bosch replaced the usual front and middle consoles with large-surface monitors. The company says it can display any information flexibly, as required by the given situation.
All-round interior lighting also is featured in the display concept. Its color is selected based on the driver’s preference, but the lighting also can warn of potential hazards: if a pedestrian or cyclist is about to cross in front of the vehicle, the interior lighting blinks rapidly to direct the driver’s attention to the left or right side as necessary. This ambient light function is another of the vehicle’s extensive range of safety features, which also include lane-keeping support and emergency brake and traffic jam assists.
Automated driving opens up new possibilities
In the Bosch show car, the driver has access to real-time traffic and weather information, both from the cloud and in social media and communication applications. To ensure that drivers do not endanger others when using these functions, they only can be used during automated driving.
A simple swipe is all it takes for drivers to shift back and forth seamlessly between the different displays. Adaptive algorithms adjust the content to the situation and drivers’ habits. In addition, preferences such as seat and mirror positions or preset radio stations can be saved.
Connected with the entire world – and with home
Within the “Internet of Things,” the vehicle also can connect with other domains, such as the driver’s home. If a visitor rings the doorbell, the car switches on the intercom. A fingerprint sensor in the car allows the driver to open the front door remotely.
Once the vehicle arrives at home, it reconnects with the home security system. It can then allow the driver to retrieve images from the home’s exterior cameras before driving onto the property, or view the vehicle’s direct surroundings using the on-board cameras. Once the passengers have all exited the car, it then parks itself in the garage – ready for the next drive.
Created in cooperation with the prototype developer EDAG, the show car exhibited at re:publica 2016 features an outer skin consisting of lightweight, 3-D-printed modules.