Novi, Mich. — Automotive cockpits will continue to evolve as more advanced technologies enter the interior in preparation for fully autonomous vehicles.
Automakers and suppliers are planning for and envisioning these future interiors where steering wheels are nonexistent or can be easily tucked away and 3D touch or smart surfaces are integrated throughout the cockpit.
"We know it's coming," Mike Schoenherr, head of R&D for Continental AG's instrumentation and driver HMI business unit in North America, said of autonomous driving.
He was part of a May 9 discussion on next-generation cockpits at the WardsAuto Interiors Conference.
"We don't know how long it's going to take before you really can step into a vehicle and not see any driver interface, where you're just going to sit in and become a passenger," Schoenherr said.
His firm predicts that's still "a few years out," he said.
In the meantime, drivers can expect a more gradual progression of new or updated technologies inside vehicles.