At the Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA) 1997 Johnson Controls introduced a concept interior called Symbiosis, presenting a totally harmonious, near-future interior that emphasizes aesthetic appeal, practical elegance and value.

The unique, "Euro-styled" interior has been integrated into a mid-size sedan. Finished in multiple tones of "monochromatic" green, it featured many rounded and finely textured surfaces, and was amply appointed with full-leather trim. A natural flow and consistency among all component systems was achieved with unique styling approaches and visual cues.

"Symbiosis is a major step forward in automotive design and styling, as well as interior performance and function," said Nathan Young, vice president of design for Johnson Controls. "There will be increasing demand for interiors that work as cohesive, integrated systems – both functionally and aesthetically."

Young explained designers and engineers from Johnson Controls developed Symbiosis "from the ground up" in just six months. "Like the concept we created, our design people from Europe and North America – who are some of the best in the business – worked with harmony and synergy," he said. 

"Symbiosis is an extremely significant and successful project for us, since our vision is to redefine the automotive interior." 

All components within Symbiosis were developed by Johnson Controls specifically for the concept – including seats, door panels, instrument panel, overhead system, headrests, sun visors, utility lighting and other on-board electronics. The advanced products and systems featured in the Symbiosis concept interior included: 

  • Multi-toned, all-leather seats and trim.
  • Door panels with "joy stick" controls and generous storage areas, including space specially designed to hold an umbrella.
  • An overhead system that integrates interior lighting and TravelNote(TM)
  • a voice recording/playback device for storing "reminder" messages.
  • HomeLink®, an electronic communication system in the overhead module that provide links to home security, lighting and convenience controls.
  • A unique, center rear-seat headrest that is totally retractable.
  • SunTracker™ the auto industry's first fully adjustable sun visor, which can be moved by hand along a continuous track from the vehicle's rear-view mirror to the door pillar.
  • Recessed utility lights (sconce lights) integrated into the door pillars.

source: Johnson Controls