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Will Autonomous Cars Signal Doom for the SUV?

Return of the boxy car?

Return of the boxy car?

Buyers are clamoring for SUVs these days, so much so that automakers that have never made these types of vehicles are throwing their hats into the ring. But if we believe a prediction made by the design chief at Volkswagen, perhaps they won’t stay popular for very long.

Speaking with Auto Express, VW design boss Klaus Bischoff suggested that autonomous cars may signal trouble for the SUV body style.

“At the moment we see the rise of SUVs, and the descent of limousines [saloons] and MPVs,” said Bischoff. “…Maybe SUVs will start to look old at some point and people will point at them and say, ‘He’s driving a dinosaur.’ We don’t see that now, but I strongly believe that we’re going to see much different vehicles when we get to Level Five autonomy, and then it becomes much more open.”

The I.D. concept VW revealed at the Paris Motor Show gives us a better glimpse of what future vehicles could look like. Its EV-specific chassis allows designers to create a spacious, lounge-like interior. Other autonomous vehicles we’ve seen recently—including the VW BUDD-E, BMW Vision Next 100, and Mercedes-Benz F 015 Luxury in Motion—also adopt a boxy shape permitting an open, airy cabin.

It’s unclear exactly when autonomous cars will take off, but many in the industry point to the next decade for some big changes. Do you believe SUVs are slowly on their way out? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Auto Express