Jaguar Land Rover is working on in-car infotainment solutions that it says will reduce driver distraction.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover Director of Research and Technology, said “The driver will instinctively look at the infotainment screen or dashboard when pressing buttons to select navigation, music or the telephone. It’s intuitive. So our research is looking at how we could take a current infotainment screen and increase the speed and efficiency of this interaction to minimise the time the driver’s eyes are away from the road and their hand is off the steering wheel.
“Our Predictive Infotainment Screen prototype uses cameras embedded in the car to track the driver’s hand movements and this enables the system to predict which button the driver intends to press. This allows successful button selection to take place in mid-air, which means users wouldn’t have to touch the screen itself. In user trials this increases the speed of successful button selection by 22 per cent and therefore reduces the amount of time the driver is looking at the screen with their eyes off the road.”
Consultancy SBD’s Telematics News reports that the system could also use mid-air touch to provide the driver with a sensation, otherwise known as haptic feedback, that their button selection has been successful. Mid-air touch uses ultrasonics to create a touch sensation in mid-air without the skin needing to be in contact with any surface. The sensations could include a ‘tap’ on your finger or a ‘tingling’ on your fingertips. As touch provides an immediate response to the brain, there will be no need for the driver to glance at the screen for visual confirmation which would help keep their gaze on the road ahead.