Design and use of cars will be radically changed to suit emerging technologies, Citroën’s Xavier Peugeot told Paul Myles.

Technology will be the major influencer in what cars will look like in the future and how they will be used by the consumer.

This is the opinion of Xavier Peugeot, Citroën’s product planning director speaking to TU-Automotive at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. He said the brand has the advantage of being in a large auto group with a wealth of new technologies being developed.

Peugeot said: “Firstly, we are key brand of the PSA Group and there is a long list of technologies available within the group for each every brand. So Citroën, along with Peugeot, DS, Vauxhall and Opel, will have the capacity to cherry-pick the technologies we would like to implement in our cars. This means there is no doubt that we will remain connected to all the modern technologies coming in the future.”

Peugeot said the growth of innovative new technologies, particularly autonomous systems, inside cars means that the products will have to change to accommodate them. He explained: “I do believe the coming technologies will have more and more influence in our future vehicles because we are progressively going towards cars that are more and more autonomous. These aids that are increasing in our cars, although we would like to keep the technologies simple for the customer use experience, will drive us eventually to full autonomous driving and autonomous cars.”

The car’s interior is probably where the biggest changes will happen when comparing today’s vehicles with those to come, said Peugeot. “When we reach this stage of more autonomous driving, this will have a big influence on the way we build the interiors or our cars. This will be a major change for our products in the future. To have simplicity, ease of use, a new way of moving and doing things within our cars and this will be driven by the new technology taking more space in our coming products.”

Peugeot also believes that technology will increasingly be used as a tool of branding with different “cherries” picked from the tech bucket by individual brands. Indeed, he said this is happening today: “I will give you one example of this happening already: the PSA Group has developed progressive hydraulic cushions – a technology that is available within the group for each and every brand. However, it’s obviously a technology mainly used by the Citroën brand because it’s a key tool to deliver the brand’s comfort message.

“Comfort is key the Citroën, to us it’s in the Citroën DNAand is at the heart of our customers’ expectations throughout the world and also in line with autonomous driving in the future. This is something we believe we should take the lead role in this. On the other hand, Peugeot can be using iCockpit, and DS something else and so on.”

Peugeot said the customer experience can be very different even when PSA brands are lined-up against each other. He explained: “Within the PSA Group, we have the capacity to have this bank of technologies available for the various brands but, as you see here in Geneva, the two PSA brands next to each other but with two different atmospheres, values with Citroën more focused on comfort. So in this way we keep some technologies dedicated to brand differentiation.

“The way we balance this at the moment is the right one for the time being and we would like to keep it the same way for the future.”

[Tele.Myles.2018.03.06]

Connected & Autonomous Vehicles

14 May 2018 - 17 May 2018, Santa Clara, USA

From vehicle electrification and infrastructure to the evolution of ADAS and vehicle automation to enhanced connectivity and new mobility models, no rock will be left unturned.