Supersonic Jet-Maker’s Windowless Cabin Previews Our Autonomous-Car Future

Spike Aerospace supersonic jet

Windows—can’t live with ‘em, can’t live without ‘em. Or can we? Spike Aerospace, a company behind the upcoming S-512 supersonic business jet, thinks it can pitch the apertures altogether using giant screens and cameras. Spike’s looking for ways to simplify, lighten, and strengthen its speedy jet, and replacing windows with a wall-covering flat-screen live-streaming the jet’s surroundings is a clever angle.

For now, Spike’s jet and its screen idea are still just ideas, but this case gives us an interesting peek into the future of automotive design. After all, if—or more likely, when—autonomous cars begin roaming our roads, will they even need windows? Spike claims the lack of windows not only simplifies airframe construction, but also reduces drag. Why couldn’t the same principles apply to a car you needn’t actually see out of?

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Of course, during the transitional period between piloted and semi-piloted cars, and even into fully autonomous rides, windows probably will still need to be part of the equation. But we could start to see a radical transformation of interior layouts and body shapes; for a preview of the tip of that iceberg, look no further than Rinspeed’s XchangE concept. Spike’s technology sure is neat, but we hope car windows don’t completely fade away—because when that happens, it would seem driving also will go extinct.

About Alexander Stoklosa