Forget the steering wheel. In the future you won’t even see it when you get into your car. It will only pop out like an emergency lifebelt when the car’s artificial intelligence systems have failed.
Get ready for car interiors that look and feel radically different from today’s models. In the motoring age of 2030–50, touchscreens will dominate, but the road ahead won’t. Instead, the focus of both passengers and drivers will be inwards, where rotating seats take eyes off the road and on to entertainment systems. The car will become something of a social area, rather than simply a means of mobility.
All of that is some way off, but ŠKODA is already exploring the possibilities. “Whether we take integrated navigation systems or connected smartphones packed with apps, there is always the need to view all the information somewhere and to control the system in one way or another,” says Karel Švábek, Head of TF Frontloading. “Touchscreen is the dominant solution. As they are getting larger and their quality is increasing, it is gradually becoming possible to use them to control a growing number of functions and substantially reduce the number of buttons and switches. At the end of the day, this makes the whole interior simpler and easier to survey.” Tomorrow’s world, then, is becoming available today – at the touch of a screen.