In the automotive design world, interiors once played second fiddle. The glamour and glory resided in the sleek, beautiful sheet metal of the exterior.
But the game has radically changed. Technology is transforming what carmakers can do with interiors. The rise of autonomous driving, especially, will change how customers spend time in the cabin.
Says Han Hendriks, vice president of advanced product development and sales for Yanfeng Automotive Interiors: "We think the interior is going to change more in the next 10 to 20 years than it did in the last 100 years."
The revolution is under way in current vehicles filled with features, technology and materials undreamed of a few years ago.
Mark Boyadjis, senior analyst for IHS Automotive, says customers who haven't bought a new vehicle in a while will be amazed.
"I think it would be very shocking to a buyer who bought a car in 2005 or 2008 what the replacement for their car might look like today," Boyadjis said. "Compared to a Chevrolet Malibu back in 2005, it's a completely different vehicle if you were to go and pick up a 2016."
Beyond improvements in quality, change is driven by the radical transformation of the automobile in the era of autonomous driving, the sharing economy and the rise of the Chinese market.
The move to autonomous driving means people will interact with their vehicles in different ways. With more time on their hands, motorists will bring more stuff along, so they'll need more storage.
And interiors must be designed to enable the switch from human-driven to driverless mode. Indeed, as Mercedes-Benz showed in its Vision Tokyo concept, self-driving cars may enable a transition from conventional rows of seats to new layouts.
Here are some innovative interior features that are in production, coming to a vehicle soon or on somebody's dream list.