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Cadillac shows off Halo self-driving car concept for CES 2021

It's designed for a totally autonomous future, and for arriving in style, according to GM's global design chief.

Cadillac Halo pod car concept

Perhaps this is Cadillac's future.

General Motors
This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.

We got a look deep into the depths of General Motors' design studio on Tuesday at CES 2021, as the automaker's global design chief, Michael Simcoe, showed off a radical Cadillac concept meant to serve a fully autonomous future. Known as part of Cadillac's Halo portfolio, the pod car looks to a future where luxury is more about comfort than anything.

The proportions are nothing new from these sorts of pod car concepts, but it's very easy to tell this is a Cadillac. The rear taillights are thin and sweep upward like the Escalade and other cars from the brand. Up front, the brand's shield fascia is prominent too, with a big illuminated Cadillac badge in the front.

As Simcoe spoke about in the CES 2021 presentation, this concept is more about relaxing with friends and family than anything. Naturally, the cockpit is more like a designer living space. A wrap-around couch fills the space with wood flooring of sorts, while the window shapes give off a midcentury modern vibe. It looks pretty, but the passenger pod is also chock-full of technology.

Cadillac Halo pod car concept interior

Fancy.

General Motors

According to Simcoe, designers imaged biometric sensors to read passengers' vital signs. From there, the concept car can adjust the temperature, humidity, lighting and scents pumped into the car. It sounds like knobs and buttons are a thing of the past in this concept, too, with voice and hand-gesture controls baked in to manually change features inside.

GM in no way hinted the concept shown here is representative of a vehicle heading to production, but the car does indicate where designers see things moving in the decades to come. Who knows, maybe we'll blow past the pod car concept for something else entirely, but if they do become a future trend, at least they'll be mighty nice inside. In the near future, Cadillac has two new EVs coming, however: the Lyriq and Celestiq. We learned a lot more about the latter, a hand-built luxury sedan, at CES, too.