With drivers freed from the task of actually controlling the vehicle, Audi’s designers equipped the Grandsphere with front seats that recline up to 60 degrees, allowing front-row passengers to fully relax while the vehicle drives itself, and entertaining them with music or videos on the broad screen. Audi says the interior transforms the automobile into an “experience device.”
While the Grandsphere is a concept, Oliver Hoffmann, a member of the Audi board of management for development, says the concept shows how the industry must rethink its entire design process for EVs and autonomous driving.
“Highly autonomous driving is a game changer, because it means we are developing and designing cars from the inside out,” Hoffmann explained.
“With autonomous driving, one key element changes dramatically: The driver need not have the wheel in his hands all the time. That turns the car into a lounge,” he said through an interpreter. “We give the customer time to relax, to work, to entertain themselves. The car becomes the biggest mobile device you can imagine. And that offers huge new possibilities.”