Autonomous

First Look: Cadillac’s Newest Self-Driving Car Concept Replaces the Cockpit With a Spa-Like Lounge

First Look: Cadillac’s Newest Self-Driving Car Concept Replaces the Cockpit With a Spa-Like Lounge

As with jet packs and flying cars, self-driving production vehicles are still more vaporware than reality, but major automakers continue to help us imagine what that future might be like. The latest to do so is Cadillac with its InnerSpace concept unveiled today at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES).

The marque’s new vision of an autonomous car prioritizes the cabin experience instead of the exterior—though this one-off’s bodywork is exceptionally easy on the eyes. While a number of lounge-like self-driving concepts feature nondescript, blobby exteriors, the InnerSpace presents an outer space that’s a flush, sweptback expanse more along the lines of the Audi Skysphere, Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 and Pininfarina Teorema concepts than other members of Cadillac’s so-called Halo Portfolio. The latter includes the PersonalSpace single-seater VTOL aircraft, which was unveiled at last year’s edition of CES.

The Cadillac InnerSpace concept unveiled at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show. 

Photo: Courtesy of Cadillac.

This time around, Cadillac has focused its efforts solely on two travelers seeking “space and serenity,” according to the automaker. Those passengers better be accustomed to digital comfort, because the InnerSpace’s low-slung cabin, which opens via two doors and a massive structure incorporating the A-pillars and glass roof, is equipped with wraparound surface-mounted LED displays intent on distracting from the potentially dystopian world beyond the glass. And Cadillac imagines entertainment and wellness-themed programming that integrates augmented reality to engage travelers. Using biometric interfaces, users will be able to engage the marque’s Ultifi software platform, which will be kept current via over-the-air updates that will also revise and enhance the autonomous technology as needed.

The interior features wraparound LED displays and entertainment that integrates augmented reality. 

Photo: Courtesy of Cadillac.

In addition, Cadillac touts Goodyear’s innovative tire tech as a way to further improve insulation from the outside world. Using soybean oil and rice husk–based silica in place of petroleum-based construction, the hoops utilize what Goodyear dubs SoundComfort technology to reduce soundwave resonance from the rubber. And should the occupants so desire, tire metrics such as pressure, temperature and load information can be accessed via the aforementioned screens—though that seems anathema to the theme of blissful escape.

The InnerSpace is built on Cadillac’s Ultium EV platform. 

Photo: Courtesy of Cadillac.

Cadillac is mum on the real-world viability of such tech and has not disclosed any projected cruising range, but given the concept’s Ultium EV platform—which frees up cabin space by spreading batteries throughout the car’s structure—we’d anticipate more range than you might expect from a vehicle that looks like it’s going 200 mph while standing still. However, Caddy has more than a two-seater in its autonomous crosshairs, and is already teasing its next autonomous Halo concept. Dubbed SocialSpace, the follow-up to the InnerSpace will offer loads of sumptuous interior volume for up to six passengers, giving us even more to look forward to.

Timotheé Chalamet Played Edgar Scissorhands in a Super Bowl Ad for Cadillac’s Hands-Free Driving Technology

Timotheé Chalamet Played Edgar Scissorhands in a Super Bowl Ad for Cadillac’s Hands-Free Driving Technology

Thanks to Cadillac’s upgraded Super Cruise technology even a boy with scissors for hands can experience the thrill of driving on the open road.
That’s the unusual scenario that played out in Cadillac’s Super Bowl LV TV commercial on Sunday night. Starring Timotheé Chalamet and Wynonna Ryder, the 90-second spot acts as something of a spiritual sequel to the 1990 film Edward Scissorhands, while giving the automaker a clever platform from which to shows off its first EV, the Lyriq, and its hand-free driver assistance technology.

In the Tim Burton-approved ad, Chalamet plays Edgar Scissorhands, the son of Edward and Ryder’s Kim Boggs. Just like his father, who’s nowhere to be seen in the clip, Edgar has scissors for hands, a feature that makes it all but impossible to live the life of a normal teenager. But after his mom sees him driving a car on his VR headset, she gets an idea. Enter the Lyriq and its cutting-edge Super Cruise hands-free driving tech, which allows young Edgar to hit the road like any other 16-year-old without his razor-sharp fingers getting in the way.
The Cadillac Lyriq’s hands-free Super Cruise driving technology at work  Cadillac/YouTube

True, most of us don’t have to deal with having scissor-like hands like Edgar, but that’s beside the point. The Lyriq’s Super Cruise driving assistance tech, which has come a long way since its introduction in 2018, aims to make driving easier for everyone. As it stands, the semi-autonomous driving suite does allow for hands-free driving, but the small print at the bottom of the image is quick to note that you still need to “pay attention while driving and when using Super Cruise.” In other words, don’t confuse this for Level 5 autonomous driving.
Cadillac’s nostalgic TV spot wasn’t the only noteworthy car commercial to air during Sunday’s big game. The automaker’s parent company, General Motors, aired an ad featuring Will Ferrell, in which the comedian challenged Americans to buy more EVs than Norwegians (50 percent of the cars sold in the Scandinavian country are battery-powered, while they make up just 4 percent of sales in the US). Meanwhile, Bruce Springsteen made his commercial debut, helping Jeep celebrate its 80th anniversary.

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