The Buick brand brought two concepts to the auto show in Guangzhou. The first, the Smart Pod, demonstrates the power of the Ultium electrical platform for autonomous passenger pods and presents what commercial shuttles will look like in the not-too-distant future. The second prototype is more trivial – this is the GL8 Flagship show car, which reveals the appearance of the fourth generation Buick GL8 minivan.
The futuristic Smart Pod was created by the American design studio General Motors to showcase the capabilities of the Ultium platform and the latest generation of autonomous driving technologies. The shuttle features a spacious cabin, a high level of safety and digitalization, immersing passengers in a “premium environment”. It features panoramic glazing, natural materials, active noise cancellation and air purification systems, folding tables, sleeping seats, as well as a sofa and a 50-inch Retina display.
The concept understands voice commands, follows the user’s gaze, synchronizes with gadgets in real time, using artificial intelligence and machine learning for personalized delivery and access to on-board functions. Instead of traditional headlights and lanterns, micro-LEDs are used, which not only act as a light source, but also “greet” passengers with a welcome animation.
Created at the PATAC Pan-Asian Technical Center in Shanghai, the GL8 Flagship minivan is able to drive without a driver and communicate with other vehicles and infrastructure (V2X technology). The interior of the car is transformed in accordance with the needs of passengers: inside there are lounge chairs, a 30-inch screen, a touchscreen display in the steering wheel and a wide-screen “projector”.
Of the unusual solutions – speakers built into the headrests and an innovative tea tray (such an unusual option is explained by the fact that GL8 is sold only in China). The general concept of the show car is inspired by the mountain and water landscapes of the Middle Kingdom.