This latest patent says it all.
Self-driving cars are the future and automakers are working fast to develop the necessary technologies. We're already at Level 3 autonomy; Levels 4 and 5 aren't too far off. To prepare for the inevitable, Porsche has just filed a pair of patents for new seats designed specifically for self-driving cars. TaycanEVForum.com has just uncovered these patents which reveal a new type of seat that can push away and recline when the car is in self-driving mode. Yep, this means one can literally fall asleep at the wheel and be comfortable while doing so.
Obviously these seats are not offered on any Porsche vehicle, but the writing is on the wall. These patents were actually originally filed in Germany back in April 2018 but have only recently been published with the World Intellectual Property Organization.
The images show the seats reclining along with the steering wheel and pedals moving out of the way, neither of which are needed when in autonomous mode. Porsche has previously mentioned some interesting self-driving ideas specifically for the track. What if there were to be a so-called "Mark Webber Mode" where the vehicle's self-driving system is preprogrammed according to the former Formula 1 driver's ideal settings for a specific track? This way, the driver can "learn" the track before driving it themselves. All they'd have to do is disengage the self-driving mode once they feel ready.
Of course, having reclining seats is not beneficial in this case. What Porsche has in mind, more than likely, is a self-driving mode for long distances where the driver can safely kick back and relax. The all-new Taycan EV could one day be fitted with Level 4 or Level 5 self-driving tech thanks to over the air updates. With this in mind, customers would simply have to check the options box for these new seats. For now, Porsche has not provided a time frame as to when these reclining seats will make production, but it'll be happening sooner than many may think.