Seating Trends Spotlight

Canoo car open

Car designers have been exploring different seating configurations in expectation of self-driving technology

Autonomy, scenarios such as ride-sharing, and the flat-floored cabins of electric vehicles purpose-designed for mobility services mean that ever-more living room-like layouts are being created, complete with seating which is more like domestic furniture.

“In current cars, every seat feels like its own compartment, and when it is empty, it feels like a waste of space,” said Richard Kim, design director of mobility service start-up canoo, at the California unveiling of canoo’s first vehicle (September 2019). This monospace was conceived as an “urban loft on wheels: totally open, totally spacious, totally clean,” Kim explained, its skateboard chassis enabling this concept. “Even the rear seat, so cramped and awkward in many vehicles, is designed like a sectional sofa. It creates a place for travelling, but also for hanging out and relaxing in a loft-like space.” 

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