The findings of the Luxury Research Study identified five aspects of luxury that must be present for an experience to become and remain luxurious. These findings, compiled from interviews describing over 200 luxurious experiences from five countries, show what’s important to users when it comes to luxury.
“After our Global Research Team analyzed the data, we had a clear picture of five key aspects of luxury: Simplicity, Service, Personalization, Control, and Comfort,” said Global User Research Senior Manager Beth McGough. “Each user will have a different and continuously fluctuating combination of these five aspects to create their luxurious experience. Based on our findings, enabling luxury requires the automotive experience to constantly adapt to users' changing needs and expectations in the vehicle."
"When discussing how luxury will evolve, two schools of thought emerge in discussions with our customers," said Tim Shih, VP of Design and User Experience. "The first is a focus on digital technology driving the user experience, while the second relies on traditional symbols of luxury like premium materials and finishes. What our research revealed – and what we've explored in the XiM23 – is that a luxury solution is not one or the other, but rather a dynamic combination of both to create holistic and highly personalized interior experiences."
Calm & Rich Modes unlock users’ luxury experiences
Through unique experience modes, the XiM23 shows how traditionally luxurious features can be elevated with technology integrations, becoming infinitely flexible and intelligently orchestrated to address the five aspects of luxury, meeting users’ wants, needs, and preferences.
"Over the last two years, our team has planned every interaction in the XiM23," said User Interface Global Design Director Andreas Deubzer. "From a user interface perspective, this is one of the most significant concept vehicles Yanfeng has ever undertaken. The integration of digital technology enables greater flexibility and new opportunities for the interior to adapt to users' changing wants and needs."
Connected to a mobile app, the XiM23 recognizes passengers, adjusting its settings to the preferences designated by the driver. Upon approach, the XiM23’s mono-post front seats pivot and the rear seats slide forward for easy ingress, serving as a welcome to occupants. This initial experience, known as Calm Mode, is visually simple and elegant. No screens are present and the ambient lighting of the interior is soft and airy.
“Lighting plays an important role in the XiM23,” noted John Vincent, Principal Designer and Design Lead for the project. “Aesthetically, it helps us to create the right atmosphere in the cabin and spotlight design features, as you see in our doors, floor console and instrument panel that look as though they’re floating. Lighting is also a communication tool, guiding the user on how to engage or control features as they go through each experience mode.”
Once the XiM23 recognizes that the driver is settled, the front seats return to their forward-facing positions, and the steering wheel, outfitted with secret-till-lit lighting and controls, illuminates. Simultaneously, a slim, curved, pillar-to-pillar 8K display rises from the instrument panel, as well as two slim touch displays nestled in the floor console.
When users desire to transition from the serene Calm Mode to the more interactive experience of Rich Mode, the power is in their hands via the multi-controller, a “phygital” innovation combining a physical dial with gestural controls and interactive smart surfaces. By hovering a hand over the multi-controller for a few seconds, the Rich Mode experience is activated, and the interior begins to change dramatically. The ambient lighting tones of the interior shift and brighten and the instrument panel display rises from 50mm to 100mm, revealing additional features and offerings for occupants to select. The two center console displays extend fully, accessible for all occupants and providing additional options for service, personalization, and comfort.
Autonomous driving enables more immersive, rich experiences
In both the Calm and Rich experience modes, the vehicle defaults to a manual driving scenario with level two assisted driving features such as blind spot monitoring, hands-off detection, and forward collision warning augmented with interior lighting. When users are ready for a level four autonomous experience it’s as simple as clicking the steering wheel’s illuminated “Autodrive” button.
"Including level four autonomy in the XiM23 concept allowed the team to further explore interior experiences, unconstrained by the safety requirements of manual driving,” said Shih. “For Yanfeng, this broadened scope is a glimpse into the future, showcasing how mobility experiences can evolve as autonomous technology advances."
As the XiM23 transitions to fully autonomous, multi-sensory experiences become fully immersive. Lighting is further enhanced with overhead illumination and projections, while all four seats recline. In the rear, passengers enjoy a deep, zero-gravity position plus massage with Yanfeng's Hover Seat. A theater-like ambiance brings all eyes to the front of the cabin, where the pillar-to-pillar display fully extends to 200mm for users to enjoy music, movies, or other content tailored to their journey.
"The XiM23 concept evolves Yanfeng's eXperience in Motion (XiM) principle into the luxury segment. Society's shifting values, which Yanfeng first examined in its 2018 Quality of Life study and further pursued with this most recent luxury research study, reflect a continuous shift away from possessions and towards experiences,” said Shih. “With a complete automotive portfolio including seating, safety, cockpit electronics, and interiors, Yanfeng is well positioned to deliver new and compelling experiences into the automotive and future mobility space.”
The XiM23 demonstrator vehicle will be featured at the company’s European headquarters in Neuss, Germany, until spring 2023. For more information, please visit: www.yanfeng.com/en/xim23.