Speed / November 2019

Bentley's moving experience

The Rake spoke with Bentley’s UX Design Manager David Leary to discuss how the EXP 100 GT will change the way we think about car travel.

User Experience, or UX as it is known in today's parlance, is not a new concept because as long as we have been creating and making, we have been refining and improving, and that, in a nutshell, is UX. For reasons financial or those borne out of laziness and/or ineptitude, UX goes missing from time to time and often we shrug our collective shoulders and accept the inefficiencies and asymmetries of whatever is conspiring to make daily life even harder than it already is. Thankfully, the brains in Silicon Valley turned UX from something we write infuriated tweets about to a full-blown multi-billion dollar industry aimed at improving everyone's life. In many ways, Bentley has been focused on UX for 100 years, constantly redefining the driving experience to make it faster, more visceral, more luxurious and ultimately a pleasure every time you step into the vehicle.

With the EXP 100 GT, UX Design Manager David Leary was given a blank canvas upon which to imagine how the luxury consumer might interact with a grand tourer in 35 years time. Indeed, long journeys today are not usually associated with pleasure, but Leary and his team has completely flipped that idea on its head. Firstly, travel comfort will be entirely personalised, whether you decide to take the wheel or allow AI to get you to your destination. Based on whether the driver is in ‘active’ or ‘autonomous’ mode, biometric technology can carefully monitor temperature, seating position and environmental conditions to deliver the ultimate in passenger comfort. The Bentley Personal Assistant preempts passenger requirements by monitoring a host of variables such as body temperature and blood pressure, prompting the car to adjust features accordingly, whether that’s preparing for a long journey home or a leisurely grand tour abroad. Seating offers tailored shape and support, whilst providing massage functions and muscle stimulation on request.

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Ryan Thompson

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