Consider the car’s interior, until recently a relatively stable component in terms of engineering and value to the automobile.
Now, interior surfaces are potential real estate for ambitious enhancements of safety or entertainment.
New technologies such as 3D laminated glass, haptic sensors, and augmented reality heads-up displays — which offer drivers alerts, safety aids, and warnings on invisible screens embedded in the windshield — have entered the vocabulary of traditional suppliers.
Large navigation and entertainment display screens in the dashboard offer Web-based information and media as well as data arrays picked up from networked roads and other cars.
The autonomous car will further up the ante, and soon.
It will change the “living space” dimension of automotive interiors.
The front seat may be reoriented to face the back seat, so passengers can converse as they would in their living rooms while the car cruises to a destination.
Or seats could face a windshield that’s become a large movie screen.
Little wonder, then, that vehicle electronics could account for up to 20 percent of a car’s value in the next two years, up from only about 13 percent in 2015.