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Interior design is a major focus at this year’s Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto. If you’re heading to the show this week, make sure to check out these 10 trends in interior cabins, all coming to a vehicle near you soon.

The curved OLED screen in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

New technology, such as this curved OLED screen, takes centre stage in the 2021 Cadillac Escalade. Never heard of OLED? You’re not alone. It’s short for organic light-emitting diode. With 38 inches of diagonal display, the OLED screen has twice the pixel density of a 4K TV and sharper colours. OLEDs produce their own light, so with each LED independently driven and no backlight to wash out the image, the OLED displays have a higher contrast ratio. That enables the black to be true black and produces richer, more vibrant colours.

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The Porsche 911 Carrera 4S has a minimalist shift knob in the centre console.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

The trend towards minimalistic interior design isn’t going away anytime soon, and it’s evident in the Porsche 911 Carrera 4S. Unlike Porsche’s Panamera and Macan SUV, which are littered with fighter-jet like buttons, toggles and switches in the centre console, the Carrera’s console is clean and uncluttered. The focus is the funky little gear shifter. To use, push the lever towards you for drive and away from you for reverse. To park, simply hit the button below the shifter.

The Lexus LF-30 electric concept.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

This Lexus LF-30 concept points toward the future of mobility. It’s an electric concept with a range of about 500 kilometres, but the focus here isn’t just electrification and the car’s autonomous driving capabilities. It’s also about environmental sustainability. The steering wheel, floor boards, door panels and trim are made of sustainable Japanese cedar. Fibres made of recycled metal are used in the door panels, and the material used in the interior trim is made from vegan leather; no cows were harmed in the making of this car!

The Genesis GV80 SUV features a centre front airbag.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Interior cabins aren’t just about comfort and space. They’re also about safety. The new 2021 Genesis GV80 SUV has a world first – a centre front airbag, which comes out of the driver’s seat side bolster. When Genesis did their research, they found that in cases of lateral impact, there is a high percentage of injuries caused by front vehicle occupants colliding with each other. The centre airbag is designed to mitigate the risk of such an injury.

The rear seat of the Infiniti Qs inspiration is flooded with natural light.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Rear seats are also being transformed into cozy living spaces for relaxing and unwinding. Three rear seats won’t be a common sight in the future. Expect to see spacious, open cabins like that of the Infiniti Qs Inspiration concept sedan, with two sculped rear seats and plenty of legroom. The clear roof also lets in more natural light, making the back row feel more airy.

The Nissan Sentra boasts 'zero-gravity' front seats.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

The Nissan Sentra doesn’t have any ordinary front seats. Dubbed “zero-gravity seats,” they’re designed to alleviate fatigue on long-distance drives. Inspired by NASA technology, the seats are tailored to reduce stress and fatigue on the spine, rear and thighs. They also ensure the driver sits in a proper seating position with good alignment, so you’re not emerging from a two-hour commute in traffic with back pain.

A logo is branded on a real wood inset in the dashboard of the Longhorn edition of the Ram 1500.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Even trucks are going upscale in interior design. The Ram 1500 Longhorn edition gets a special logo embossed on the dashboard. It’s branded right into the real wood, proof there’s no ceiling on how luxurious trucks can be. Even leather and delicate stitching adorn the dashboard and seats.

The steering wheel of the Infiniti Qs Inspiration disappears when the vehicle is in autonomous mode.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

In a future where autonomous driving is more common, we may see that steering wheels and floor pedals start disappearing – or are at least hidden. In this case, the Infiniti Qs Inspiration’s steering wheel disappears into the dashboard when the vehicle is in autonomous mode. But if you want to take control of the sedan, the steering wheel pulls out, as do the brake and gas pedals.

A lumbar-support pillow offers extra comfort for passengers in the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

The 2021 Chrysler Pacifica minivan raises the bar for comfort, luxury and style. The caramel-coloured Napa leather seats with quilting are stunning, but there’s an added bit of luxury – a second-row lumbar-support pillow that features beautiful suede on its back. The minivan also has up to 12 USB ports inside the cabin.

The Ram 1500's 12-inch touch screen is the largest in its class.

Petrina Gentile/The Globe and Mail

Other manufacturers are starting to follow Tesla’s footsteps, introducing larger touch screens to make it easier and faster for drivers to access the navigation and audio system. The Ram 1500′s huge 12-inch touch screen is the largest in its class. You can keep it in full-screen mode to get an excellent view of the map and navigation system, or you can split the screen to display the radio on one half and the map on the other.

Shopping for a new car? Check out the Globe Drive Build and Price Tool to see the latest discounts, rebates and rates on new cars, trucks and SUVs. Click here to get your price.

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Stay on top of all our Drive stories. We have a Drive newsletter covering car reviews, innovative new cars and the ups and downs of everyday driving. Sign up for the weekly Drive newsletter, delivered to your inbox for free. Follow us on Instagram, @globedrive.

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