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Infotainment system: the BMW cockpit of the future

Kai Ruppert
Infotainment system
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Back to the roots: This could be the motto for the cockpit of tomorrow. In the V W Beetles were all four switches for the most important functions, current cars often confuse with more than 50 buttons. That, promises Marc Girard, interior designer at BMW, will change drastically: “Limiting to the essentials is the designer's best friend.”

BMW uses the pane as a reflector

This is how the BMW Vision concept vehicle gets along in a very purist way with just one display positioned centrally behind the steering wheel. However, this will be a real jack-of-all-trades and have almost any number of options to display as multimedia, navigation or simply as a speedometer, as desired. The heart of the display is a head-up display, like the one BMW used since 2003. A virtual image is projected onto the windshield.

Using the pane as a reflector is not that easy, however, as the physical properties of glass break light rays, which would lead to undesirable double images. A special film must therefore be integrated into the pane to ensure clear images. In the future, all colors will be displayed in the head-up display, which makes it easier to recognize.

Each driving mode has its own information package

This makes it possible to project complex information such as maps onto the windscreen in a realistic manner. However, this is no longer done using a TFT screen, but with a laser projection. Although this is technically possible today, it still requires so much space that it cannot be integrated into current vehicles. The laser displays images without distortion and sharp, even on curved surfaces such as windscreens, and also enables brighter, sharper and more colorful images. Even the display behind the steering wheel will in future be projected by the laser.

Thanks to the overlay technique on three panes attached one behind the other, it even creates a three-dimensional display on any number of levels. For example, three driving modes can be selected in the BMW Vision: Cruise, Flow and Sport. A special information package is assigned to each mode, which is shown in the displayappears.

The infotainment is operated orally

With Flow, efficient, steady driving, the optimal speed for the green wave or the range are the focus. In sport mode, on the other hand, the display can provide information about the braking point before a curve. Operation will be extremely simple: the driver says what he wants and the system fulfills the request. Voice input is a key aspect of the infotainment vision and only enables it to be reduced to a few switches in the cockpit. Almost all commands can be implemented in a flash, without tedious navigation through the endless expanses of today's menu levels.

To do this, speech recognition still has to learn a lot, it should also understand dialects such as Swabian or Saxon in addition to world languages ​​and reliably distinguish between commands from the driver, front passenger and children in the rear. In addition to voice control and laser-projected image display, adaptability is the third key point of future display technology. It's still a vision. However, individual components such as the full-color head-up display have already been developed ready for series production.


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