Yanfeng-JCI's vision shows smooth move to self-driving reality
Editor's note: Yanfeng Automotive Interiors is already working on a new generation concept car that will debut in early 2017.
Interiors suppliers Yanfeng and Johnson Controls have developed a futuristic concept car that, among other things, shows how a motorist will smoothly and safely hand over control of the vehicle.
The Innovation Demonstrator 2016 (ID16) concept car was unveiled to journalists Sept. 8 in Dusseldorf, Germany, ahead of its Frankfurt auto show debut this week.
With the press of the button, the driver signals that the car should go into self-driving mode. The same button is used to give control back to the driver, which is what the video here shows.
A red signal in the displays alerts the driver that control of the car is being given back. The car provides a second visual alert via the strip of light in the upper part of the dashboard that changes from red to yellow while the transition takes place. The video shows how the steering wheel moves toward the driver and then the displays switch to a blue color and start to show the car’s speed and other details. The strip lighting in the dashboard turns to white.
When the car is in autonomous mode the driver’s seat also goes farther backward and it is possible for the driver and passenger to turn their seats 18 degrees toward each other. In autonomous mode, the driver gets access to a small table that is big enough to hold a tablet computer, like the image above shows.
The concept has 33 innovations ranging from a heated arms rests, to a glovebox that both opens and closes with the touch of button, to a brilliant device called the Catchbin 2.0, a removable slender feature that sits between the seats and the center console that has perfected the art of collecting dropped coins, phones and keys.
All the innovations come from the newly created Yanfeng Automotive Interiors (YFAI), a U.S.-Chinese joint venture that is now the world’s largest supplier of automotive interiors with annual sales of $8.5 billion.
YFAI was formed in July when Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of Huayu Automotive Systems Co., the component group of SAIC Motor Corp., joined forces with the vehicle interiors arm of U.S.-based Johnson Controls Inc.
YFAI is 70 percent control by Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems while JCI has the remaining 30 percent.
YFAI already has shown the ID16 to 10 major global automakers, including BMW, Daimler, Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Volvo, Hyundai and Kia.
Richard Chung, who is YFAI's vice president of global industrial design, said that one of the German customers he demonstrated the vehicle to spent an hour examining every innovation the ID16 offers.
He said that on average the automakers spent 15 to 20 minutes in the ID16, adding that the consensus among the companies was that YFAI’s concept is right in line with what they foresee for future vehicle interiors.
Chung said YFAI is already working on ID17, which will make its debut at the Detroit show in January 2017.