Bentley has given luxury car buyers a tantalising vision of a driverless car of the future – one complete with luxury sofas, high-end furniture and a virtual assistant hologram.
Are you still so dead against self-driving cars?
The forward-looking design insight, revealed by Bentley’s design chief Stefan Sielaff in a central London briefing, is intentionally unlike anything yet seen on autonomous cars.
Instead of simply folding the steering wheel out of the way on an interior otherwise similar to today’s cars, Bentley is completely rethinking how a driverless luxury car interior could be: and it’s not necessarily like anything we’ve seen before.
Sielaff’s vision would see occupants sit on luxurious sofas, facing one another, drinking Champagne and browsing letters from a coffee table. The furniture would be indulgent and high end; it would be more like a boutique apartment than a car.
A virtual assistant ‘butler’ would be on hand in hologram form from the table; ‘Jeeves’ would mastermind ultra-thin displays built into the wood panelling on the sides displaying infotainment and other functionality.
“I wasn’t sure whether to show this yet,” said Sielaff during the briefing. “But we are embarking on a really big step into the future for Bentley design.
“We are respecting the brand’s heritage but are also pushing its design into the future.” With autonomous cars, this presents an all-new blank canvass for the firm to establish a new type of luxury car for the future.
“We must be prepared, and must consider what’s important for the next generation of luxury customers who have grown up in a digital world. The future of luxury will be the complete experience, not just the car.”
Bentley’s vision shows just what the driverless Mulsanne of 2030 could have in store. Suddenly, autonomous cars don’t seem so unappealing, do they…
Come back to Motoring Research soon for more insights into the luxury future of Bentley.