New Cabin Technologies

ITB monitors the introduction of new materials and technologies that improve user experiences. In the past five years, our customers have been developing their strategies and tactics for a future with more electrified vehicles and increasing data and connectivity. As such there are important areas of change and priorities for interior systems development. Several of the next wants in cabin development include:

  • Maintaining available passenger headspace as floor systems are raised slightly higher due to battery system packaging 
  • Achieving smart surfaces in all technical iterations and materials
  • Improving occupant experiences which encompass physical and emotional comfort
  • Finding a cost-effective sustainability equation that satisfies the materiality matrix defined by internal and external stakeholders

There are continuous new developments which companies must engage in and are engaging in to improve value. As electrified vehicle production volumes increase, investment is being made to develop more integrated solutions for reducing physical volume, mass, and cost of HMI switches, most strikingly for full battery electric vehicles. Higher value designs reduce system costs and in limited cases may have significant vehicle performance impacts.

There are some consolidations in interior technologies, and we see new directions in how passenger comfort, safety and e-powertrains can be more integrated. This increases the value that suppliers can bring to OEMs. And it creates a position for enabling materials.

The implications of big data in automotive are potentially larger than the implications of electrification. The strategic use of data clouds can improve vehicle safety performance, efficiency and handling, and even radically improve manufacturing output. Through new services, it has the capability to transform the occupant’s experience. Several data-focused companies are impacting this space already. Key interior systems such as cameras, displays, and seating could be the next touch point in the reach for big data, whether it is via data harvesting, monitoring, or by providing street level imagery.

The circular economy is the principle of keeping materials in the economy and out of the environment. The interior is a direct path to place sustainability materials and resonate with the customer. Many opportunities are being utilized now and are increasing, yet sustainability strategies with electronic content are harder to realize.  

ITB segments and maps technologies across domains. If we look at the interior systems market 5 to 7 years from now, we see much potential to reshape certain components. 

For more information, please contact:

Darren Nowak, Director, Research and Analysis

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