Buick today showcased its innovation with the global introduction of two forward-looking concept vehicles - the Smart Pod and GL8 Flagship - at Auto Guangzhou 2021, this year's leading automotive industry event in southern China.
Created by GM's Advanced Design Studio in the United States, the Smart Pod leverages industry-leading autonomous driving technology and GM's Ultium platform to project a safe, comfortable and intelligent experience for work and relaxation while commuting.
As the benchmark for premium MPVs in China, the GL8 continues to evolve with the GL8 Flagship, previewing Buick's next-generation MPV styling that will take the brand's luxurious driving experience to a new level.
Both concept vehicles provide a combination of modern aesthetics, technology innovation and an immersive intelligent experience, representing Buick's latest exploration of creativity and imagination for future transportation.
"The Buick concepts are pioneering, digitalized and more luxurious than ever," said Cesar Toledo, general director of Buick Sales and Marketing at SAIC-GM.
"They articulate Buick's ongoing transformation and fulfill our commitment to create intelligent mobility spaces that are sustainable, exclusive and fully connected to elevate every aspect of the customer experience."
Buick Smart Pod Concept Vehicle
The Smart Pod allows users to maximize their productivity while experiencing a world-class level of comfort, safety and connectivity for hub-to-hub transportation.
"The Smart Pod is a bold design concept that looks at the full potential of advanced technologies in electrification, automated driving and digitalized connectivity, delivered in a warm, tactile and luxurious manner," said GM China and GM International Vice President of Design Stuart Norris.
Focusing on personal space and well-being, the Smart Pod is a fully autonomous electric vehicle built on the groundbreaking Ultium platform and the VIP electric architecture. It inspires with its unique proportions, offering comfort and plenty of space.
Rather than traditional headlamps and taillamps, the Smart Pod's sleek exterior incorporates micro-LED lighting technology. Its dynamic wake-up lighting animation and sliding door welcome passengers when they approach, delivering a personalized and high-tech feeling.
Once inside, passengers are immersed in a premium environment. The Smart Pod's airy roof and innovative glass lattice maximize visibility, creating a connected feeling with nature. With the innovative sleep seat, which fully reclines, the Smart Pod offers the most comfortable and efficient method of commuting. The multi-variable seating layout further facilitates networking and rest.
The interior also conveys GM's sustainability philosophy, with the adoption of premium and natural materials. Deployable tables, enhanced noise-canceling technology, an ambient sound management system, an air purifying system and other thoughtful details further contribute to the first-class ambience and pleasant multi-sensory experience.
The Smart Pod epitomizes Buick's bold thinking and exploration of an intelligent and connected future. Featuring a 50-inch retractable retina LED screen, the latest-generation virtual cockpit system provides a highly intuitive AI-enabled experience for in-car virtual assistance and seamless connectivity with the outside world.
Thanks to intelligent voice command and advanced eye-tracking technology, the smart cabin supports enhanced navigation and real-time integration with personal devices, and serves as a remote office. Through its artificial intelligence and machine learning capability, the concept vehicle adapts to the user, making personalized suggestions for a variety of functions - from infotainment to comfort to vehicle operation.
With a full complement of sensors, it integrates industry-leading hardware and software with a suite of safety features to ensure a safe, intelligent and relaxed personal mobility experience.
Buick GL8 Flagship Concept Vehicle
The GL8 Flagship was created by PATAC design professionals in Shanghai integrating global resources. Its exterior has a pure and dynamic appeal, with sculptural surfaces highlighting its power and energy. Adding to its innovative styling are a distinct mix of exterior colors and a panoramic roof, which features a distinct glass canopy that extends from front to back for improved aerodynamics.
Buick's signature wing-shaped headlamps have continued to evolve on the GL8 Flagship. They are functional, supporting advanced connectivity between the vehicle, users, pedestrians and other vehicles.
Clean, natural and sculptured details are an essential part of the interior design philosophy. Zero gravity-like lounge seats and a flexible seating layout enable the distinct cabin to serve as an open space for all occupants. Inspired by Chinese mountain and water landscapes, the concept vehicle has an innovative tea tray. It promises a more captivating and comfortable ride that offers a new way for people to interact.
The GL8 Flagship also elevates the status quo of intuitive control and humanized functionality. Its multi-screen connectivity is supported by a 30-inch driver-centric freeform display, an integrated touchscreen on the steering wheel and an advanced full-width head-up display.
A premium audio experience is delivered through a sound system that is integrated into the headrests. Nearly all vehicle functions can be controlled by advanced voice commands.
Incorporating V2X intelligent mobility technology, the GL8 Flagship empowers a safe and relaxed autonomous driving experience with seamless connectivity between the vehicle, people, infrastructure and the cloud.
Buick has found success offering premium SUVs and cars with sculptural designs, refined performance, modern interiors and thoughtful personal technologies. Buick's award-winning customer service and sales experience, along with the Avenir trim, the highest expression of Buick luxury, are attracting new buyers to experience Buick's unique approach to attainable luxury in North America and China. Buick has sold over 10 million vehicles in China since its introduction by SAIC-GM in 1998. More information about Buick vehicles in China, its largest market, is available at www.Buick.com.cn.