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This concept interior configuration shows the front passenger facing rearward. It's one of three autonomous driving modes options in Yanfeng Automotive Interiors' XiM17 demonstrator. (Kami Buchholz photo)

NAIAS 2017: Yanfeng shows concept interior for autonomous driving

The driver's experience of being in a vehicle—but not driving—means opportunities for working or relaxing as envisioned in a vehicle cabin concept from the world's largest supplier of automotive interiors.

It was a two-year development process for the Experience in Motion concept demonstrator 2017 (XiM17) from Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, a joint venture between Yanfeng Automotive Trim Systems and Adient, the largest automotive seating supplier in terms of sales.

“This concept really enables a completely new and unique customer experience of space, features, and functions,” Han Hendriks, chief technology officer at Yanfeng Automotive Interiors, said at the demonstrator’s reveal at the 2017 Detroit auto show.

The electric-drivetrain concept vehicle’s four seats and floor console are the main elements within a large, flat-floor interior. By selecting one of four modes (driving, family, meeting, lounge), the seating and floor console are automatically powered into specific positions.

“Our last concept show car interior was biased toward [SAE] Level 3 autonomous, but we’re referring to this [latest] concept interior as a Level 3.5,” David Muyres, Executive Director of Research & Advanced Development for Yanfeng Global Automotive Interior Systems, said in an interview with Automotive Engineering.

For the XiM17’s driving mode, the two rear and two front seats face forward. The driver accesses the stop-start button and PRND selector on an overhead console.

The other three modes are for autonomous driving.

In the family mode, the front seatbacks rotate 16 degrees inward to allow the driver and front passenger to interact more easily with rear seat occupants. The rear console moves forward and the rear seats come together.

The meeting mode moves the driver's seat to the back of the vehicle, while the passenger seat moves forward and rotates 180º. Rear seats fold and stow in the rear panel.

With the lounge mode, the front seats move to the rearmost position.

The XiM17 concept features more than 30 innovations, the company said. “And most are ready to manufacture for the next-generation of vehicles,” claimed Hendriks.

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