The car is no longer simply a way to get from point A to point B. Increasingly, it is becoming a home away from home, offering passengers a space of comfort, connection, health and entertainment.

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The interior of Cadillac's shuttle concept

Cadillac is turning the car into a mobile living room. General Motors (GM) unveiled the Cadillac Personal Autonomous Vehicle at CES 2021, a shuttle concept car that GM’s VP of Global Design Michael Simcoe described as “a social space for a group of friends or family to spend time together on their way to a destination.” In place of four forward-facing seats, the interior of the driverless pod features a rounded, couch-like bench for lounging and socializing. “It’s a vehicle made for a girls’ night in, in the middle of a girls’ night out…a place to unwind and refresh,” the brand explains in a promotional video. For enhanced comfort, the concept car incorporates biometric sensors that read passengers’ vital signs to adjust temperature, humidity, lighting ambient noise and aromatics.

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Mercedes MBUX Hyperscreen
WEB Mercedes

Home tech hits the in-car environment with Mercedes’ MBUX Hyperscreen, a door-to-door digital dashboard display ushering in the future of automotive infotainment. Debuted at CES 2021 and taking cues from home entertainment systems and digital assistants, the “in-car cinema” display is the command center for a range of functions, including navigation, vehicle function, climate control, apps and entertainment.

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Panasonic, Dolby and Klipsch debut immersive sound technology

Panasonic is “focused on making the cabin of your vehicle like a second home,” Scott Kirchner, president of Panasonic’s automotive division, said in the company’s press event on Monday. With updates to its Spydr cockpit domain controller technology, Panasonic is working to “design a vehicle’s interior as one holistic experience,” Kirchner said–an experience that is centered around comfort and safety. Panasonic also announced new in-car immersive sound technology in partnership with Klipsch and Dolby Atmos Music, for an enhanced in-cabin listening experience.

For more CES 2021 coverage, see Home health havens and Entertainment upleveled.

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