Let’s be real, a car is no longer just a means to get from A to B. For most of us, our car is more like a mobile living room. A place where we listen to music, drink coffee, talk to our family, and try our best to keep it clean.
It’s also a space where we spend more time than we think. The average Australian spends almost 90 minutes in their car every day. That’s about 22 days in total every year. A little less than a whole month in the driving seat.
And luckily for us, the business of car interior design and functionality has become a lot more sophisticated and innovative over the years, making those journeys so much more comfortable and practical.
In fact, design features were once overlooked, or pretty far down in the importance pecking order, with the focus firmly on how the car runs, its power on the road, handling and even fuel-to-dollar functionality.
But today, the development of design features is big business. Huge, in fact. Fuelled by innovative technology, it isn’t just about looking good, but also about making life on the road easier and safer.
Here are some of the most important design features we’ve seen crop up in this new wave of feature-first car design.
The way we interact with our cars has completely changed. The old dashboard with radio and ventilation fans has been upgraded to a smorgasbord of connectivity. We can talk, text and even access our favourite apps via voice control, turning the car into a moving office or a social playground. And it’s forever advancing.
The much-anticipated all-new Peugeot 2008 SUV, which is to be released in Australia this year, has already been hailed as a feature-first design car. Yes, the compact SUV is said to run like a beauty, but it’s the design which have piqued interests.
As well as its robust style with bold wheel arches, upright grille and Peugeot’s signature three-claw LED taillights, inside you’ll also find a flash 10-inch touchscreen in the GT Sport and 7-inch touchscreen in the Allure model with digital dials and Smartphone connectivity. And if you go with the GT Sport model, there’s a charge pad so the days of fiddling with cables are well and truly over.
The model is also fitted with a brand-new i-cockpit with a 3D receiver that prioritises vision and reaction time. With a renewed focus on instinctive and intuitive driving, the 2008 is a real work of modern interface design.
Car interiors have become one of the most competitive sectors in the automotive industry, and what’s incredible is that most of the lead designers are women. Pretty needed in this male-heavy industry, right?
And every tiny detail is planned with precision, not only based on its aesthetic but also practicality. Inspiration can be pulled from home furnishings, fashion and even architecture. And a one-car-design-fits-all approach is now over, with those with deeper pockets now able to express themselves with personalised finishes.
It might be a little more subtle but car interiors have been re-thought to focus on safety features. Today, we have forward collision avoidance, driving attention warnings, and with the all-new Peugeot 2008 SUV, for example, there’s even Drive Assist and Park Assist, blind-spot monitoring, extended Road Sign Recognition, Driver Attention Alert and Active Lane-keeping Assist.
On top of this, a slew of driving aids have been carried over from the flagship Peugeot 508, such as Adaptive Cruise Control and the newest and latest third generation AEB, capable of night-time detection* of pedestrians and cyclists, even in poorly lit urban areas, all of which paves the way towards semi-autonomous driving.
The future isn’t just aesthetically pleasing but has our safety at the forefront of car design.
Discover the all-new Peugeot 2008 SUV. Click here to pre-order yours now.
*On GT Sport.