ID15 concept car interior: The future of not-driving

Autonomous driving will fundamentally change how we interact with the inside of our cars. Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is behind the interior technology in many of today's cars, and with the Innovation Demonstrator 2015 concept car (ID15) we got a sneak peek and just what they think is going to be the next big thing.


Emme Hall

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Don't expect to find these technologies in the compact car segment. No, these innovations will first be seen in high-dollar luxury cars. The ID15 concept interior from Yanfeng, a global leader in automotive interiors, is a re-imagining of the cockpit with the goal of maximizing the efficiency of non-driving time in autonomous vehicles.

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Rotating Seats

While in autonomous mode, seats could rotate toward each other to facilitate interactions between both driver and passenger as well as those riding the the backseat. In the ID15, they rotate 18 percent, just enough to engage in easy conversation with others.

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Work Surfaces

The ID15 concept interior has a swing out table that is available to the passenger at all times and to the driver during autonomous mode. Whether you use it for your laptop or your lunch, having a work surface in the car is sure to make the time spent in the cockpit more efficient.

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Retractable steering wheel

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that a car that drives itself doesn't really need a steering wheel. Other concept cars have a steering wheel that folds away completely, but the ID15 features a wheel that quickly retracts flush with the dash to offer the driver, now just a rider, more room.

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Slim overhead console

Have you looked up at the housing around your rearview mirror lately? It's a huge bulky mess crammed with buttons for lighting, emergency services and possibly even a sunroof. Yanfeng envisions thinner and sleeker control modules that weigh less, take up less space and are easier on the eyes.

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Illuminated fabric surfaces

Sure, a lot of cars have interior LED light signatures. This is a bit different. Here the light guides are woven directly into the fabric for a unique look and feel. The colors could change based on drive modes or door position. For example, when the door is open the light guides could turn red to alert any wayward bicyclists that may be zipping by.

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More Storage

If you knew you could use your commute time to do anything but drive, what would you bring with you? Probably a lot more than you bring with you now. Future automotive interiors will have storage...a lot of storage. Here a tambour door makes door panel storage sleek and private.

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Customizable Storage and Refrigeration

With storage being key in the future interior, so too will be the ability to customize. The center console could be partitioned to create smaller little cubbies to your liking. While we've had cooled gloveboxes for a while now, the ID15 has a cool box under the center console that is accessible to both front and rear passengers. Now let's hope we get a cappuccino maker next.

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Smart Surfaces

The surfaces in the ID15 are smart, offering an alternative to traditional switches. This is nothing new to the world of automotive interiors, it's just difficult to get right. The ID15 surfaces offer a finely tuned sense of feedback when operated and they have an antimacrobial coating. So go ahead, sneeze and touch. Your passenger is safe from your germs.

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Sculpted leather

A flat leather dashboard? Don't be so 2016, dah-ling. Sure, we'll have plenty of technological innovations in the future, but what's the point of having a super-smart car if it's a super-bummer place to sit? Enter a new process for forming leather that allows for sophisticated molded designs.

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