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Living Room-Style Interior Debuts at Frankfurt Motor Show

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【Summary】Yanfeng recently showcased a comfy “smart interior” in its autonomous XiM18 concept car.

Mia Bevacqua    Oct 21, 2017 10:15 AM PT
Living Room-Style Interior Debuts at Frankfurt Motor Show

Have you ever wanted to kick back in a recliner during your daily commute? Watch a little Netflix instead of battling enraged drivers? That fantasy may soon become a reality if automaker Yanfeng has its way. The company recently showcased a comfy "smart interior" in its autonomous XiM18 concept car.

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Your home (or office) away from home

Self-driving cars open the door to alternate interior designs. CEO of Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, Johannes Roters, noted that vehicle cabins are becoming the next living space. The XiM18 supports this way of thinking by offering an array of living room-style features. For example, there are power rotating seats that allow the driver to turn away from the windshield. Instead of monitoring the road ahead, the driver can now engage in a game of Candy Crush.

The concept XiM18 has a camera that monitors occupants. This information is collected to aid in the development of future safety systems, says SAE. Obviously, creating a safe environment for passengers swiveling in all directions can be tough.  

Other state-of-the-art interior features include moving floor consoles and color-changing overheads. The latter is not a psychedelic as it sounds – the hues are supposed to be mood enhancing. But that's up for debate.

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Meet the many modes of the XiM18

The interior also has "modes" according to an article on bmwblog.com. The four modes are Driving, Family, Lounge and Meeting (anyone who's worked in an office will be sure to avoid Meeting mode). 

In driving mode, the seats face forward as they would in a normal car. Family mode is where things get weird – the seats rotate to face each other and move close together. Meeting mode moves the front seats so that the driver and passenger turn towards each other. And lounge mode – the best mode – slides the seats as far back as possible. 

Another innovative feature is that the cabin surfaces of the XiM18 are touch-points. This makes the interior the equivalent of a big touch screen, like a smartphone. The ingredients needed for this, include a surface cover, PCB assembly and lighting source. 

Coming to a showroom near you, perhaps

More than 60% of the new content on the XiM18 is production-ready, according to Yanfeng. Soon, you may be reading a book while hurdling down the freeway.

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