Automotive interiors to drive cross-industry developments, says GlobalData

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Megatrend interior concepts in the automotive industry could transfer to other transportation sectors as consumers demand higher quality standards, according to GlobalData, a data and analytics company.

Rail and aviation sectors have been used to multiple users of the same product, namely passengers sitting in the same seats and using the same facilities but without necessarily paying much attention to the impact of repetitive use.

With the advent of connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) vehicles however, consumers in other sectors may start to demand “vastly improved” hygiene standards for multiple use as well as the use of lighting and scents.

“For years traditional car ownership has seen vehicles driven to a place of work and left there unused for several hours a day,” said Simon Warburton, automotive business editor at GlobalData. “However, should the concept of shared and vehicle-on-demand applications become the norm, passenger car users will start to expect much higher cleanliness standards, for example.

“Interior component suppliers are actively working in this field, aiming to provide sanitized cockpits, which offer a high degree of hygiene, no matter how many users there are in a day. Increasingly, they are also looking to trends in hospitality, which are capitalizing on a desire for authenticity, and using natural ingredients and materials inside the car.”

According to Warburton, it’s not just a question of cabin quality. Consumers will expect all their smart devices to be instantly connectible in whatever vehicle they share or hire, with the eventual advent of autonomous concepts also making traffic jams a potentially productive period rather than wasted time.

Despite the potential for fewer cars being sold as sharing or hiring becomes more commonplace, component suppliers are nonetheless eyeing a significant uptake in cockpit technology as a way to monetize CASE concepts on board the new vehicles.

After years of lagging behind in standardized passenger experiences, other transportation sectors may now increasingly look to new automotive interior technologies in a bid to boost marketability.

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