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Samsung’s Digital Cockpit is a futuristic concept for self-driving car interiors

Samsung wants to turn your next smart car’s cabin into a digital cockpit. At CES 2021, the South Korea tech giant is showcasing a concept tech that imagines equipping smart cars with both swiveling screens and 5G connectivity.

Simply called the Digital Cockpit, the new tech is Samsung’s attempt at securing a spot in the next generation of smart and largely driverless cars. The group of wide, high-resolution displays lets you perform all sorts of tasks you wouldn’t normally expect to accomplish from the cramped interior of your vehicle, like turning it into a mobile office, watching movies, and playing games on a panoramic 49-inch screen.

The Samsung Digital Cockpit also replaces most of the traditional inputs with adaptive touchscreens. In the center of the steering wheel, there’s an 8.8-inch LCD instead of physical buttons for honking or activating turn signals. At the top-center of the windshield, you’ll find another display that dynamically renders vital information from a set of four external cameras to assist you while parking, for example. Plus, Samsung plans to add a display out front that shows messages for pedestrians.

That’s not all. The Digital Cockpit-powered vehicle will even come fitted with an “out-cabin” screen at the back that allows you to watch and stream content from outside for when you are, say, camping. With the help of a range of in-cabin cameras and sensors, Samsung says it can also sense passengers’ stress levels and moods to automatically toggle the car’s lighting, scent, music, and more.

The presence of 5G would enable passengers to attend videoconferences and stream content, and you can even plug in a Samsung phone through DeX to pretty much turn one of the screens into a computer.

Most of these screens, Samsung adds, will be able to shift depending on whether the car’s in transit or parked. If it seems like one too many displays to safely cram into a car cabin, keep in mind that driving may not part of the plan. As automobile manufacturers have invested in driverless technologies, tech companies have rushed to reimagine the role of the cabin and how they can fill your drive time. We’ve already seen instances of this shift in cars like the ones from Tesla, which offer large, central touchscreens to let you watch movies or play games when you’re in autopilot mode.

Technologies like the Samsung Digital Cockpit are, though, still a few years in the future and you can expect more of such solutions at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.

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