Chrysler's future car cabins will be built around partial self driving
The Synthesis concept helps you multitask when your hands are off the wheel.
Chrysler has yet to deliver an electric car or otherwise leap into the future, but it's at least willing to hint at what that future will look like. The Stellantis brand is debuting a Synthesis cockpit concept at CES that previews what you can expect in next-generation electric vehicles. Most notably, the two-seat demonstrator is built around Level 3 self-driving technology — that is, it assumes you'll have your hands off the steering wheel in limited conditions.
The 37.2 inches of infotainment display area provides the usual media and navigation controls, but is also designed to be useful when autonomous driving is active. You can participate in video calls, play games, sing karaoke or even create your own music. It's not clear how this would integrate with a production car (there's no steering wheel in the concept), but Chrysler is joining Mercedes, Tesla and other automakers offering in-car productivity and entertainment apps to drivers.
AI unsurprisingly plays a large role. A virtual assistant syncs your schedule, smart home and weather updates with the car. Synthesis can factor your calendar and charge status into your route, or turn the house lights on when you arrive home. The cockpit can learn your preferences, and recommend restaurants with good charging and parking spaces. Over-the-air updates promise easier improvements for both the cabin tech and the self-driving system.
Chrysler is also hopping on the trend of eco-friendly interiors. Both seats have vegetable-tanned covers with "upcycled" trim, while the instrument panel surface is made entirely from recycled plastics. Even the floor uses responsibly-sourced walnut, Chrysler says. The overall look was inspired by last year's Airflow EV concept.
It's not certain just when you'll see elements of Synthesis in Chrysler cars. However, the company previously said it would introduce its first EV in 2025 and provide a full portfolio in 2028. This still leaves Chrysler trailing behind other vehicle badges (including fellow Stellantis marques like Maserati) that are already adopting EVs and advanced infotainment platforms. However, the American firm appears to at least be solidifying its transformation plans — it won't lean on hybrid minivans for too much longer.