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The Synthesis Cockpit Concept Is Your First Look at Chrysler's Driverless Future

Chrysler’s cabin concept imagines less driving, more leisure

Chrysler Synthesis Cockpit Concept seats
  • Interior concept highlights Chrysler’s approach to sustainable, electric future.
  • Chrysler expects first Level 3 autonomous models by next year.
  • The brand’s first battery electric vehicle is due in 2025.

The New Year’s Eve crazy juice hasn’t worn off yet in Detroit. What other explanation suffices for Chrysler’s new two-seats-and-a-TV interior concept debut at CES 2023 — that annual Las Vegas carnival of unsupervised marketing budgets and vaporware?

The automaker calls its pedal-less, steering wheel-less, center console-less vision of future mobility “Chrysler Synthesis,” and it's punctuated with all manner of catchy buzzwords used to describe the next quarter-century.

The cockpit, as it’s called, represents Chrysler’s future design direction, complete with responsibly sourced, sustainable materials such as vegetable-tanned seat upholstery made with “arctic upcycled” chrome-free soft trim and a “mélange heather” instrument panel made from post-industrial and ocean-sourced plastics (perhaps picked from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?).

The self-aware cabin

A massive 37.2-inch display anchors what Chrysler calls the STLA Smart Cockpit infotainment system, a system of profiles and settings that will sync devices, turn on house lights, update itself over-the-air (OTA), order a macchiato for pickup and find an obscure Daft Punk remix that someone mentioned on Discord.

Passengers will have plenty of time to explore the system thanks to STLA AutoDrive, a Level 3 autonomous driving system that will enable the vehicle to handle most driving tasks and legally allow the "driver" to work on other tasks but still pay enough attention to execute maneuvers if called upon. (Chrysler parent company Stellantis is already on track to deliver Level 3 cars in 2024 using laser light-scanning lidar technology.)

The STLA Brain will run the whole show, an advanced AI system that will likely begin life in Chrysler’s forthcoming first battery electric vehicle (BEV) in 2025, then evolve as the brand goes fully electric by 2028. The robot overlords will even key into your mood and vibes and offer a variety of meditation, karaoke, games and music creation to help ease your daily march from the salt mines back to your suburban capsule unit.

Chrysler changed the game once before

On the surface, Chrysler Synthesis isn’t exactly groundbreaking. Virtual personal assistants, OTA updates, and cloud-based syncing and routing technologies exist today in brands ranging from Tesla to Mercedes-Benz. But it’s a first glimpse into how the brand that ushered in the modern minivan — and revolutionized American family transportation in the process — plans to approach driverless electric mobility. Even Chrysler’s umbrella concept for the future ownership experience, dubbed “Harmony In Motion,” sounds warm and utopian.

Don’t expect to see the fanciful Chrysler Synthesis interior in the next Pacifica redesign. But stick around long enough for the return of the 300 badge as a low-altitude hovercraft and you might have better luck.

Edmunds says

While these concepts typically exist only in the fever dreams of automotive designers, some of the ideas eventually take tangible form. The 37-inch dash display could make a great virtual reality interface.

Chrysler Synthesis Cockpit Concept detail