Bentley personalises the machine with holographic butler
Full autonomous driving will reinvent cars’ interiors to new spacious and luxurious realms. There’ll be no need to face in one direction, no steering wheel or pedals to gobble up space and perhaps a lax approach to safety regulations and seat belts.
Although Bentley has been quietly reserved on the development of its own autonomous systems, the Crewe-based factory recently revealed images of what its interiors could look like in the next two decades. Let’s just say autonomous driving is going to play right into the hands of luxury car companies…
Two inward facing sofa seats leave enough space in the centre for infotainment screens mounted on each side. Using experimental design techniques and materials, these screens are 0.5mm thin and unlike conventional screens, these can bend and move to fit more naturally inside the surrounding panels.
Many of the shapes and materials found in upcoming Bentleys could be attributed to the advancements permitted by 3D printing. Stefan Sielaff, director of design, gave clarity on the role 3D printing could play. “3D printing is fascinating for use because it overcomes problems of production for us. You can create detailed, complex components that in the past we would not be able to make via milling or casting, for example integrating a 3D image of a Union flag into a door hinge. This is only possible to be done using 3D printing.”
“The detailing on the interior of the grille can also be 3D printed and that is also something that in the future is going to each car personality in our family. We can play with the interior of the grille to make it more sporty or more elegant. These are things that are influencing our future design language from a technical perspective.”
Passengers in cars such as the new Bentley Mulsanne might pinch themselves at the idea of talking to a holographic butler – according to Bentley this would offer a more personalised experience rather than create the generic impression of talking to a machine.
Company boss Wolfgang Dürheimer has in the past hinted that Bentley could expand up to seven model lines while Sielaff said the “overall ratio between performance and luxury will get even wider. Our flagships will get even more luxurious on the one hand and even more sporty on the other.”
A strong demand for the Bentley Bentayga in South Africa will see first deliveries begin in May of this year. The price of a Bentayga starts from 4 million Rand with most orders being priced closer to 4.5 million.