The Audi James 2025 Concept could provide a glimpse into what the future of interior car design may be like. This concept proves once again that it’s not what you have, but how you use it, as Audi puts some current day technology to use in a new way.
The front half of the cabin flaunts the typical amenities you’d find in any high-end luxury car of today mixed with some you’d find in many touchscreen computers. A trifecta of screens displays any information you might desire and allows you to easily change a multitude of settings. The dash mounted, center screen even allows the use of gestures like you might use on the new Xbox One gaming console. For the less tech-savvy, gesture control is a way of using a camera to track hand location and using your hand as a remote by pointing at the screen, a feature that Google recently filed a patent for.
As the 2015 Audi TT will show, simplicity is way of the not only the future but the now. The “Cockpit of the Future,” as the James 2025 has been dubbed, simplifies itself by closing the touchscreens, hiding the heated/cooled cup holders and even minimizing the steering wheel when possible.
That’s right, the steering wheel. With the advancements being made in the field of autonomous cars, it is a no-brainer that auto-pilot would be integrated into the James 2025. A cruise-control like button on the steering wheel labeled “AP” switches modes and retracts the steering wheel into a video game like, open-topped setup. Auto-pilot also allows the center screen to be used for video purposes, skirting necessary laws on watching movies while you drive.
A noticeable casualty of this self-driving future is the elimination of the traditional shifter. While it leaves our right hand looking for something to reach for, it removes the awkward knob preventing us from easily reaching all parts of the backseat (you know what I’m talking about). Other autonomous features include an auto-pilot timer with dashboard track lighting indicating the time remaining and a “safe-stop” feature which brings the vehicle to a safe stop should the operator not take over after the timer expires.
Even with all of these advanced technologies, there are still some familiar faces in Audi’s vision of the future. 12-way power seats are still found in their current location on the seats, which seems sensible. Separate “Start/Stop” and hazard light buttons are located above the cup holders, which, as many of us have found out the hard way, is not a good location unless you like sticky buttons.
The presence of the hazard button is just another indication that our regulations will need to catch up to our technologies. Autonomous cars can allow use to watch TV or talk on our phones while traveling at high speeds but only 4 states currently permit the use of them. Fortunately, it is only a matter of time until more progressive minded individuals take office and we can all put our cars in the ultimate cruise control.