May 17, 2018—General Motors is in the process of developing customized designs for the interior of self-driving vehicles that the company feels are unrecognizable from the inside of today’s vehicles, according to a Reuters report.
GM’s vice president of global strategy, Mike Abelson, told Reuters that the autonomous vehicle interior designs will continually change to meet customers’ evolving expectations, and eventually won’t include a steering wheel or pedals, as the company moves toward releasing a Level 5 autonomous vehicle. GM plans to produce autonomous vehicles as part of a ride-hailing service next year.
The interior designs give GM an opportunity to own much of the in-car experience for its autonomous service. GM debuted an infotainment center-based marketplace late last year.
The OEM is likely to consider including the marketplace in its self-driving vehicle fleet, with the customized designs it’s developing, to create the engaging experiences needed to capture the countless hours that’ll be available for media consumption in autonomous vehicles; this approach could also allow GM to act as a gatekeeper for its in-car ecosystem, enabling it to potentially block out rivals like Apple, as it looks to maximize revenue from its self-driving efforts, Reuters noted. Additionally, this creates the chance for GM to license its designs to other companies.