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Continental develops holistic automotive HMI

Posted: 23 Jun 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Continental  HMI  AMOLED  head-up display 

Up until now, the development of human machine interfaces (HMI) was driven by technological aspects. Now, car supplier Continental aims to shift to a more holistic, integrated approach that takes into consideration the driver's situation as well as environmental conditions. Consequently, the driver will get all relevant information at the right time and the right way.

The dialogue starts already before the driver enters the car: The car key is integrated into the user's mobile phone. This "dynamic" key can be passed among authorised user or between car rental service and customer. Inside the vehicle, novel instrument clusters with a combination of conventional pointer instruments and of AMOLED display or a curved AMOLED display help car designers to create a clear, non-distracting user interface.

Curved AMOLED display

Curved AMOLED display picks up consumer electronics design trends

During the drive, it is essential to keep the drivers attention on the traffic situation. For this reason, the HMI should be as little distracting as possible. With a display that provides a haptic feedback, Continental hopes to offer the most intuitive way to allow the driver to interact with the vehicle.

Another element of the holistic HMI is the head-up display that utilises augmented reality techniques. It displays relevant data from driver assistance and navigation systems at the place where they happen, enabling the driver to keep his view on the traffic. The AR HUD is complemented by the intelligent light control that optimises the illumination of bends and intersection as well as of persons at the roadside. In addition, the system, Continental calls it Pixel Light, can project navigation hints to the road.

Augmented reality in the head-up display

Augmented reality in the head-up display helps drivers to realise hazards early.

Finally, the mirrors are replaced by cameras and display screens, a concept under development also at Continental's competitors. Instead of rear view mirrors, the driver watches a display. The benefit: The control unit can blend relevant sensor information into the camera image. For instance, it shows the user if another vehicle (bicycle) is approaching in the blind spot, helping to avoid the typical accidents that happen frequently when a driver or passenger thoughtlessly opens the door while a bicycle is approaching.

Mirror image in the centre display

Mirror image in the centre display: Could be augmented with computer-generated information

- Christoph Hammerschmidt
  EE Times Europe

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