Luc Donckerwolke explains why the GV80 has such small headlights.

The Genesis GV80 concept at the New York Auto Show may have been notable for being a hydrogen-powered SUV or the brand's first luxury crossover, but there was another future trend written across its face — small headlights.

Luc Donckerwolke, head of design for the Genesis brand, believes that some time in the not-too-distant future headlights on cars will be rendered obsolete. Speaking to the Australian press, he noted that thanks to autonomous driving, cars of the future will be able to navigate roads in complete darkness.

It explains in part why the Genesis SUV's grille takes up so much frontal real estate, with only four slivers of LEDs flanking it on each side. "We are reducing the size because we are anticipating the fact that slowly cars won't need lights any more," he told Motoring.com.au.

Though lights for illuminating the road may be replaced by an array of radar and laser sensors, vestigial headlights like the ones on the GV80 might still persist as design cues.

Though it sounds far fetched, we wouldn't rule out anything Donckerwolke has to say. Having worked previously at VW Group designing Audis, Bentleys and Lamborghinis, the Belgian designer knows a thing or two about setting trends.

Image by Brian Williams.