- Buick introduced the new Smart Pod concept at the Guangzhou car show, emphasizing both the present and the far future.
- The vast glasshouse of the Smart Pod proves to be a significant underlying aspect of its design.
- Stepping outside its van-like sliding door, the Smart Pod seems to be a transportation “pod.”
The New Smart Pod concept
Buick introduced the new Smart Pod concept at the Guangzhou car show, emphasizing both the present and the far future. The concept, which is powered by GM’s Ultium electric platform and created by the automaker’s US Advanced Design Studio, offers a futuristic vision of pure autonomy in which car occupants are more likely to enjoy a cup of tea while watching a game on the big screen than to brush a shoe sole against an accelerator or brake pedal.
The vast glasshouse of the Smart Pod proves to be a significant underlying aspect of its design. The glass, which is nearly opaque on the outside but transparent on the inside, helps to distinguish the concept’s unique, futuristic exterior from a private, cocoon-like interior in which the Level 5 autonomy frees occupants to make better use of their commuting time, whether for leisure or productivity.
Maximizing Interior Space
We fully anticipated an augmented reality overlay on the interior of the Smart Pod’s glass, but Buick keeps it for the retractable 50-inch retina LED panel.
The car glass is left open and uncluttered, allowing for a panoramic link with the natural outdoor environment, which Buick emphasizes with natural touches like dashboard plants and tree-bark-like flooring. Passengers may either enjoy the view from their seats or recline back into a sleeping position and allow the glittering stars or deep-blue sky to lull them to sleep.
During the day, the Smart Pod’s flexible seating and table layout, multi-position retractable display, and noise-canceling audio system all help passengers accomplish anything they want.
The display may function as an infotainment-style broad screen or switch to full-height mode to connect with mobile devices and display anything from a business presentation to the newest episode of a beloved Netflix series. The larger infotainment system also incorporates a virtual assistant, as well as voice control and digital eye-tracking as human-machine interaction features (HMI).
Stepping outside its van-like sliding door, the Smart Pod seems to be a transportation “pod.”
It has micro-LED swarm lighting in place of standard headlights and taillights, as well as a full set of unidentified autonomous-driving sensors.