A new automotive cockpit concept from Visteon Corporation demonstrates that futuristic-sounding advancements such as 3-D gesture recognition are closer to reality than one might imagine. The Horizon cockpit concept, which Visteon has been demonstrating to global vehicle manufacturers, blends three emerging technologies to transform the way a driver controls features such as interior temperature, audio and navigation.

The Horizon cockpit concept shows possibilities for combining real-time rendered 3-D graphics with advanced display technologies,” said Shadi Mere, Innovation Manager at Visteon. “By weaving together multiple emerging Human Machine Interface (HMI) input technologies, we are able to deliver a distinctive cockpit system that delivers an intuitive and enjoyable driving experience,” he added.

The new touch screen features, Gesture control: An advanced camera system that maps the user’s hand to replicate a virtual hand on the center stack. Horizon drivers can then easily operate certain vehicle controls simply by moving their hand or just a finger, without making contact with the instrument cluster. For example, radio volume can be adjusted by making a turning motion with one’s hand. 

Virtual touch screen: By integrating a pressure-sensitive touch pad, drivers can operate center stack controls without having to physically reach for them. The touch pad recognises the amount of pressure applied for improved responses. The touch pad can be implemented with any soft material, such as leather or cloth, allowing for flexibility in location.

Dual-layered display: High-resolution graphics present information on two separate planes, bringing only those controls with which the driver is interacting to the forefront. The driver can virtually ‘push’ through the graphics on the first pane to access the second.

Prior to unveiling the Horizon cockpit for its customers, Visteon presented the concept to consumers during a research clinic. 70% of participating consumers showed a strong interest in a virtual volume knob in their next vehicle, stating that it was easier and more convenient than searching for a traditional volume knob.

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