Buttons, knobs and dials have in the latest creation by A udi obsolete. After the new TT with the 'Virtual Cockpit' has changed some of the controls and the appearance of the radio, heating and navigation system, the Ingolstadt-based company is sending the next stage of development to the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas with the E-Tron Quattro Concept. This is called HMI - Human Machine Interface.
Audi HMI with curved OLED screen
As with the current TT or the new Audi A4, the main screen is located directly in the field of view of the Driver behind the wheel. The quality of the display is said to have been further improved, an indication of this is the greatly increased resolution of the display: 2.240 by 720 pixels on 14.1 inches.
Interesting: While we are still in the current 'Virtual Cockpit' can switch back and forth between analog and digital displays, the new version will no longer feature classic round instruments - not even as imitations. The data are reproduced purely digitally. The new system is controlled using the touchscreen surfaces on the steering wheel; knobs and buttons are not visible here. When the touchscreens are operated, they transmit vibration feedback.
New comfort center reduces the number of switches and levers
On the right of the steering wheel we find a trapezoidal touchscreen that controls the navigation system as well as the media selection is responsible. Entries are made when the vehicle is stationary using the keyboard that can be displayed;Handwriting of the driver.
Another innovation concerns the so-called 'comfort center'. The Audi driver controls the air conditioning and four other individually programmable functions via this 8.4-inch screen with a very high resolution of 2,560 by 1,600 pixels. As a result, the usual switches, knobs and levers are no longer necessary; Audi hopes that this will make operation easier.
The HMI system can also be connected to smartphones and smartwatches from all major manufacturers. Mobile phones can be inductively charged in a special box while driving - the annoying tangle of cables is no longer necessary.
Self-monitoring and psychological help with the 'Audi Fit Driver'
Audi is also working on this to relieve the driver's health by leaving the car relaxed and not annoyed after the journey. The 'Audi Fit Driver' system shows how this could work: in combination with a fitness tracker such as 'Fitbit' or an Apple watch, various parameters such as heart rate or skin temperature are to be scanned. Depending on the condition, the vehicle systems should have a relaxing or vitalizing effect on the driver.
If the stress level is high, the car could give tips on correct breathing technique, according to Audi - or advise you to take a break at the next rest stop. The whole thing is called biofeedback. Athletes who use the 'Runtastic' app are already familiar with this.
The future will tell whether this self-monitoring also works in the car. It could always make sense, for example if the driver is no longer able to get help himself in an extreme situation such as a heart attack. Then the Audi will stop automatically and safely and make an emergency call.