AVT Expo Novi: Interiors conference discusses the effect of autonomy on automotive cabins

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Beyond hosting this week’s Autonomous Vehicle Technology Expo (and related conferences), Novi was also the location for a brand new conference dedicated to auto interiors. The Future of Automotive Interiors featured speakers from organizations such as Renault-Nissan, Continental and Tech Mahindra, who identified and discussed the trends and technologies shaping current and near-future automotive interiors.

Noteworthy speakers included: Joseph Simpson, senior design strategist, Volvo Cars; Bruce Mehler, research scientist, MIT; Dr Vyacheslav Birman, an expert from Continental; Dr Wolfgang Stolzmann, lead engineer and consultant ADAS, CMORE Automotive GmbH; and Dr Rose Ryntz, president/Carbon Advisory Board member, Ryntz & Associates LLC.

Carsten Astheimer, CEO of Astheimer Design, presented a case study of a recent project for which his company designed a concept for an executive autonomous vehicle: “We spoke to a number of different executives and asked them what they needed from an autonomous vehicle. As with the beginning of the automobile, one of the first commercial applications for AVs will likely be executive travel. Executive will be an area where there’s a premium that allows for a return on investment.”

He went on to outline his vision for such a vehicle: “It should be like a ‘first-class pod’. We’re taking a lot of references from other areas, so it would be like a first-class seating environment in an aircraft, so when you go from one to the other, you get that seamless driving experience.”

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