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Will The Dashboard Disappear From Autonomous Cars?

Interesting reports from the forefront of autonomous car design hint at a radically simplified interior. The dashboard seems to disappear!


(Mercedes Benz concept autonomous car interior)

The dashboard of the modern car is amazing and expensive. Multiple digital screens and lots of buttons and interfaces on the wheel, the central stack and beyond. Fancy navigation systems, audio and infotainment systems, mobile apps, phone integration, car information and much more can be found there. There have been experiments with gesture and speech based controls, concierge services and fancy experimental controls...

All of this takes us further towards the conclusion that some models of robocar in the future will be incredibly cheap. Particularly the “city cars” which never go on the highway and only carry one to two people. With simple electric drivetrains they will be easy to build and maintain, and eventually their battery cost will become very reasonable. The dashboard vanishes along with many other controls. The expensive sound system vanishes. The windshields need not be a large custom piece of curved glass — in fact they don’t even have to exist other than for passenger comfort. The parts count goes down significantly...

I'm pretty sure that James Blish got this one right in the 1950's:

Chris studied the cab with the liveliest interest, for though he had often seen them before from a distance, he had of course never ridden in one. But there was very little to see. The cab was an egg-shaped bubble of light metals and plastics, painted with large red-and-white checkers, with a row of windows running all around it. Inside, there were two seats for four people, a speaker grille, and that was all: no controls and no instruments...
(Read more about James Blish' Tin Cabby from Cities in Flight)

Via Singularity Hub.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 10/6/2015)

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