Pia greets you as soon as you settle into one of the armchairs. She turns on your favorite radio station and knows what kind of lighting you like, because she recognizes you by your smartphone. She activates the massage function if your neck is tense and can turn on the seat heating if you’re chilly. Pia is the voice of an artificial intelligence service designed to make your time in an autonomous Audi car as pleasant as possible.
Driverless vehicles will be on the roads before long, and one thing is already clear: The people sitting in them will no longer be drivers but passengers. Drivers in Central Europe currently spend an average of four years of their lives behind the wheel, but that will change. With more free time on the go, the automobile industry must now rediscover what features customers want and redesign car interiors to cater to those needs.