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The Johnson Controls' ID15 interior concept features innovations for autonomous vehicle driving.

Johnson Controls presents interior concept for autonomous driving at 2015 NAIAS

More than 30 innovations ranging from production-ready to exploratory are featured in a luxury-orientated concept interior aimed at autonomous vehicles.

The Innovation Demonstrator (ID15) concept is “based on a D-segment vehicle, which offers a premium interior experience for the next-generation of autonomous vehicles. It enables the driver and passenger to use time efficiently, effectively, and in new ways,” Han Hendriks, Vice President of Advanced Product Development and Sales, Johnson Controls Automotive Interiors, said during a media briefing at the 2015 NAIAS.

Leo Schurhaus, Johnson Controls’ lead designer for the ID15, said in an Automotive Engineering interview that 70% of ID15’s innovations are production-ready, 25% are exploratory, and 5% are conceptual.

An electronically controlled seating swivel re-stages the cabin environment during autonomous driving.

Both the driver’s and front passenger’s upper seatback insert can rotate 18° from the centerline toward the cabin’s mid-section. “It creates a nice rotation to the torso so the driver can face the front passenger. At the same time, you can (more easily) rotate your back and neck to be able to communicate comfortably with the people in the backseat,” he explained.

A seating rotation solution that moves only the seatback insert underscores the innovation. “The seat does not change position. The seat cushion and the base of the seatback do not change position,” said Schurhaus. A rear-seat occupant can press a button to recline the seat and bring the legs up on a leg- and foot-rest as the front passenger seat simultaneously moves forward to create additional leg room.

An autonomous driving mode repositions the steering wheel via moving it as a single piece 5.9-in (150 mm) toward the instrument panel as the driver’s seat slides rearward. Driver and front passenger can access a 37° rotating tray-table located underneath the top portion of the center floor console.

The center floor console’s lower portion has a forward-located stow space and a two-way sliding cooling bin for beverages. This cooling unit moves forward and rearward without crumpling a stowed bag or other item. “The storage bin in front slides independently, so it’s actually moving with it,” said Schurhaus.

ID15’s sculpted leather surfaces on the upper instrument panel and door inserts were accomplished via a proprietary Johnson Controls production technique. “It’s not yet in production, but we’re very close to being in production,” said Schurhaus.

A team in the U.S. worked on the ID15’s concept design along with input from workers in Germany. A team of engineers in China with assist from the U.S. handled the engineering work, according to Schurhaus, who is based in Shanghai. The ID15 model was built in the U.S.

“A lot of the ID15’s execution is very close to what you would see in production. We built it just like a production interior so it will show the functionality (of the various innovations),” said Schurhaus.

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