The Next Decade of Automotive Interior Changes

Posted: 05/25/2016

In advance of his session at the 10th Annual Automotive Seating Innovators Summit, July 25-27 in Detroit, Frank Moburg, Senior Automotive Interior Designer at Honda, gave an interview about balance, priorities, principles, and the future.

We have iPads mounted in rear-facing headrests and massage seats – what’s next? How will the interior of the car change in the next 10 years, and how can engineers start working towards 2026 today?

This is a very exciting time; The basic architecture and product strategy for the car has the potential to completely change in the next 20 years.

At no time since the early 1900's has the car faced such huge changes in infrastructure or in definition as a source of transportation. While we do not know every outcome, we can plan to change the way that we think about car interiors to become more of an environment rather than a purely functional setting. With the task of driving removed, or lessened, the occupants will replace those tasks with different activities.

What balance can be found between engineering considerations and ideal luxury features? How can this gap be bridged?

Usually the balance between any ideal feature and engineering considerations is based on money. If a car is exclusive and has a large budget, the ideal features that drive that market can usually be achieved.

What are the key design principles which dictate a car brand – as embodied by the seat? How is Honda applying these principles?

Honda and Acura have basic brand strategies that define the cars within those brands. The seat complies with those strategies and adds 3 to 4 main styling features (or cues) to differentiate them from each other and from other manufacturers.

How much of a priority is modularizing components to be shared among vehicle designs in the industry today? What are the benefits offered by this approach, and should it be kept quiet or put on display?

Modularity has always been important to automotive manufacturers because of cost savings. Generally the customer should not be able to notice modularity in a vehicle because in most markets it is viewed as a negative. It takes a talented stylist to work within the difficult constraints of platform and common components and still achieve a great design that is truly his.

Posted: 05/25/2016



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