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Smart Automotive Interior Surfaces

Electrification and autonomy are impacting OEMs’ strategies for new vehicle interiors’ architectures and functionality. The ITB Group’s proposed report focuses on vehicle interior surfaces and addresses design concepts, manufacturing and economic viability, and therefore, future smart and functionalized surfaces.

The framework for this new report includes the instrument panel, doors, glass surfaces, seats, headliners, and center consoles. It sets out to outline how over the next 10 years the interior components will accommodate changes in vehicle platforms that are increasingly electrified. Packaging space can be improved or strained due to traction batteries. For example, how will this impact seats? Will instrument panels lose their continuous structure, become de-emphasized or even be eliminated all together? What are the real applications for smart surfaces and embedded switches? What is the position of various materials in this paradigm shift? Will the drive for passenger comfort and health monitoring make an impact? Overall, how will the apparent OEM strategies differ among their vehicle interiors and what will be the most important drivers? While new potential suppliers have emerged and continue to emerge, the incumbent suppliers have refocused on new technologies that will enable them to hang on to or increase their market share. Leading suppliers increasingly seek innovation from start-ups, and we seek to find tangible impacts this will have especially on the software side and functionality, as suppliers are expected to embrace capabilities such as deep learning.

The ITB Group will leverage its long standing experience and position in vehicle interiors, together with its recent venture with Sente Foundry (Chicago, Illinois, USA), in order to better bridge the past with future developments expected in both component functionality and smart surfaces. Sente Foundry brings access to a wealth of start-up companies with deep experience in numerous areas related to new mobility. Access to this alternate supply base can better help identify potential new trends that may result form capabilities in deep learning, enhanced vehicle connectivity, consumer behavior monitoring and their impact on the needs of surface functionality.

The ITB Group’s report will be delivered in a web-based portal. The portal includes two (2) updates for a period of one year after report publication. The period updates will be about the changes in the market, legislation, styling, new supplier introductions or new manufacturing technologies.

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