It appears that no automaker is safe from the onslaught of mobility—not even Porsche—and that's why it's no surprise that the German sports car builder has started dabbling in technology that will enable (and improve) autonomous driving.
Take these multi-mode driver's seat patents filed by the German automaker earlier in October. The filings, spotted by a Porsche Taycan EV Forum moderator, describe a seat that reconfigure itself for a dedicated driving position (dubbed "steering" posture), a productivity-focused position ("working" posture), and full recline ("relaxation" posture).
Each mode is fairly self-explanatory. "Steering" posture allows the driver to easily reach the wheel and pedals, which makes sense for vehicle operation. "Working" posture keeps the driver upright, but moves the wheel and pedals away to allow the driver room to work, read, or otherwise engage themselves.
Then there "relaxation" posture, which is a full-recline configuration that would make plenty of business-class airline passengers envious. This moves the pedals and wheel even farther away, and enables a legs-up, back-reclined position that will keep the driver comfortable for a long highway haul.
These patents are not the first signs of Porsche's future direction. Earlier in October, Porsche and Boeing announced that they have inked a deal to jointly develop what amounts to a flying taxi under the banner of Aurora Flight Sciences. The expected product would essentially be a fancy passenger drone capable of vertical take-off and landing—ideal for adding a third dimension to urban travel.
While Porsche and Boeing have no compelling reason to play in the mainstream ride-hailing market, they could offer a luxurious, higher-end experience that the likes of Uber Air will not be in a position to provide.