The Buick Smart Pod shows how a future “passenger vehicle” can become luxurious, and how technology comes. Buick, an American car brand with a strong presence in China thanks to the SAIC-GM joint venture, “stormed” at the 2021 Guangzhou Auto Show with a design study for its self-driving luxury MPV model. future. It’s called the Buick Smart Pod, and is described by the company as a “bold vision for the future of the luxury mobility business.” It’s built on GM’s Ultium EV chassis, and features a built-in design. The design focuses on connectivity and elegance.
Buick Smart Pod’s “one-in-one” design sets it apart from existing MPVs. Smart Pod has impressive features such as large diameter wheels, compact fenders, short head and tail, and smooth body with prominent curves. The large glass roof and side windows are in the same color as the bodywork, for a cleaner look. Similarly, the headlights and taillights are hidden when not in use, with high-resolution graphics that look like flames.
Stepping inside from the large sliding doors, you will find a cozy living room with lots of open space as it can only accommodate up to 4 passengers. Two of them have access to independent reclining seats in the back, they look like expensive pieces of furniture with “sleep mode” and a mini bar in the middle.
This MPV concept is envisioned as a fully autonomous vehicle, so it doesn’t need a driver. As a result, rear passengers can comfortably enjoy the retractable 50-inch retina display with crystal-clear graphics for entertainment, video conferencing, navigation, or any other useful information. . Furthermore, data can also be displayed on the side windows thanks to the HUD display.
When not in use, the screen shrinks and leaves a small portion for the basics. If more passengers need to be accommodated, a bench for two more people opens from the table placed in front of the screen. Sensors and artificial intelligence allow users to tune the infotainment system to find whatever they need on the trip. For relaxing conversations, the Buick Smart Pod also features an intelligent noise cancellation system, creating a quiet and pleasant environment.
From the official interior renderings, we can see that the cabin is made of premium materials. The upper is mainly painted white, combined with blue suede, white seat stitching, wood grain floors, and copper decorative accents.
As can be imagined, the Buick Smart Pod will probably never enter production, but some of its design features may be incorporated into future models in some way.