Cadillac’s Inner Space Concept: Personal Luxury Goes Futuristic, Curiously Intimate01/05/2022
At last year’s virtual CES, Cadillac introduced a number of virtual concept cars under its Halo Concept Portfolio series. This year CES is happening in real life (well, mostly), and Caddy has a real-life concept car to show called Inner Space. Forget about steering yokes that fold away: The Inner Space is a completely autonomous luxury car for two, more of a suite-on-wheels than a traditional vehicle.
Inside the smooth, sleek shape—one we’d like to call an Eldorado of the future, if the rear half of the car didn’t remind us so much of Chevrolet’s 1990 CERV III concept—is what looks like a luxury cabin for two. Doors and the roof open to reveal a single bench seat that splits and separates for easy ingress, then comes together for…. Well that’s the question. For what?
Not for a drive, certainly; there are no driver input controls, and atop a piece which we might have once called a dashboard, the Inner Space has a giant wrap-around screen that, so far as we can tell, all but blocks the view out of the massive windshield. (That seems strange given that the top of the cabin is nearly encased in glass.) Instead of pedals, the concept has pillows—and blankets and a set of slippers all arranged neatly on a tray that slides out from under the screen. Hey, baby, it’s a long, boring drive to Phoenix and we’ve got nothing better to do…
GM touts the Inner Space’s entertainment system, which includes Augmented Reality displays—we’re assuming that means you get to see where you’re going on the big screen, presumably with some degree of interactivity—and a “Wellness Recovery” theme. Cadillac says the car uses an AI-driven interface that uses biometric input. Perhaps that means it knows when to cut the outside view, dim the lights, bring up the fireplace screensaver and put Barry White on the stereo.
Not much is said about the mechanical features of the Inner Space except that the battery modules are spread about the car and not just concentrated in the floor, which opens up more inner space. The tires, specially designed by Goodyear, are designed to provide a quieter ride and are made with renewable materials such as soybean oil and silica from rice husks rather than petroleum.
As car fans, we probably should object to a car that completely removes the driver from driving, but we can appreciate having a rolling two-seat cocoon for those long, featureless, fatiguing drives. We won’t insult your intelligence by talking about a production version, but we do expect many of the car’s features to make it to reality; the augmented reality technology seems particularly engaging. That and the pillows and the blanket. After all, it’s a long drive home from Las Vegas.
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