Preparing for an autonomous future, Tesla recently patented a design for swiveling front seats and possibly a moving steering wheel. The patent filing depicts a cabin where both the driver and the shotgun passenger can rotate their seats 180 degrees, transforming the interior into a lounge. The diagram also showcases a central steering wheel with no seat behind it, suggesting that it can be moved back and forth from the driver position.

The wording suggests that this concept can be used in either a “passenger car, truck, sport utility vehicle, or van”,  and that the vehicle may be with a semi-autonomous or fully-autonomous one. However, the company has underlined its recommendation for the feature to only be used in parked vehicles and not ones en route.

Zoom Out: As the company works towards developing fully self-driving vehicles, this design could come in handy in future-proofing manufactured models for a future autonomous rollout and for giving users the ability to comfortably transition their car into a work environment or take charge of the wheel manually as needed.

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