Swivelling seats – a new idea (no, they’re not)

11 July 2018 | by Chris Maillard

Anyone who has followed recent trends in autonomous vehicle concepts will now be familiar with the idea that future vehicles will be a multi-use space for relaxation, work or socialising. And as a result, they’ll all have seats that swivel to allow conversation and eye contact. We covered this in some detail here.

This is, of course, a brand new idea. Except it isn’t. As our Managing Editor Maxine discovered during a deep dive into retro design, there was a splendid automobile which the National Vehicle Co. of Indianapolis produced from roughly 1910-14 which featured, yes, “adjustable arm chairs”.

swivel seats detail.jpeg

“These deep, massive individual seats that are veritable arm chairs move easily forward or back and readily turn so passengers can face each other,” trumpets the advertisement. 

So eat your hearts out, Adient, Redspace, et al. It’s been done. And what’s more, in something called a “Parlor Car”. Splendid.

PS: were highly innovative in their day, starting off by producing electric vehicles. What comes around...

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