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Driverless cars are coming to your driveway soon, but here’s the funny thing: No one quite knows what the driverless car of the future will look like.
Today, car companies are dreaming big and the car of the future might not even resemble what we think of today as a car. The shift to automated driving alone will transform the interior of the car into a space catered to work, play, or simply relax.
In a series of posts, we’re going to look at various components of the car of the future, a vehicle that may sit in your driveway sooner than you think. Let’s kick it off with interior lighting, an underappreciated component of car design that can upgrade the entire driving experience.
An interior that reacts to your mood
The car of the future isn’t about driving, but relaxing.
It’s well established that the color and tone of artificial light affects our mood, so the car of the future will employ functional and accent lighting that gives passengers permission to just enjoy the ride. Smart systems that imitate natural light will adjust their color and warmth automatically, depending on the time of day, to raise passengers’ spirits or ease them into relaxation, much like some airlines do.
Today, only some car manufacturers use accent lighting in the RGB color spectrum; in the future, most cars will rely on integrated task, functional, and accent lighting via LEDs, fiber optics, and smart control panels, which allow passengers to customize interior lighting with over a million colors or combinations from which to choose. The light guides, able to be tuned to any shade in the color spectrum, will give new depth and visual appeal to the car of the future’s door trims, center console, glove compartment, overhead lights, and other interior spaces. Specialty fiber optic lighting in and around a moon roof could even create the illusion of the night sky on the interior of the car.
These fiber optic component – not tubes or bulbs – will provide flexible, low-energy light to create interior designs attuned to individual tastes.