These days, a car is no longer just to get you from Point A to B and back. Cars have become ‘Smart’ with trending technologies that are able to interact with the driver and passengers. The golden age of in-car technologies has arrived!
If you shop around for a car, any type for that matter and regardless of price, there’s always a touchscreen, either built-in or floating, with necessary connectivity features and so-called ‘smart’ features. For example, Peugeot’s revolutionary i-Cockpit allows the driver to fiddle with interfaces, control the air-conditioning, change vehicle settings on the instrument cluster or steering switches, pair your smartphone and activate call or voice assistant.
Another fine example of a digital display or interactive touchscreen is the latest generation’s BMW 3 Series with its BMW Live Cockpit Professional, a fully-digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 10.25-inch control display. This is what we call enhancing Visual controls and infotainment.
Most of the major larger auto brands have made Digital Key and Voice Command a prerequisite in their best selling models. Digital Key is a virtual assistant to access in and out the car. With Voice command, you just say ‘Hi (Brand)’ and speak a desired function to enable it .
Further interaction between the car and owner is now enabled by applications. Certain car companies have already made their apps available on Google Play Store or Apple Store. Depending on how elaborated an app is, it gives you access to the car’s data, remote start the car and help schedule a service appointment, via your smartphone or device.
Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX (Mercedes-Benz User Experience) is a form of Virtual Assistant. Here’s how it works; simply reach your hand, either driver or front passenger, to the touchscreen in the dashboard or the touchpad on the center console, the assistant recognizes in-air hand motions and controls the vehicle functions displayed on the car’s in-dash display screen, according to the active menu.
Introduced at the 2019 Guangzhou Automobile Exhibition, Korean car maker Kia is showcasing an A.I. known as R.E.A.D. (Real-time Emotion Adaptive Driving) to sense a driver’s emotional state through facial expressions, heart rate and electrodermal activity.
In time to come, display screens are bound to get larger and would fill up almost the entire dashboard. Soon, cars will have a touch pad on the center console to access the main display. For rear passengers, they’ve got built-in tablets at the back of headrests that mirrors to the main screen at the front of the car. Present prPremium or Luxury SUVs already have tablets behind the headrests.
In addition, some luxury and premium makes are looking into a more immersive in-car entertainment experience.
The future of In-car technologies has arrived, indeed.