As shown by the success of Apple iPad and iPhone, usability is an attractive selling proposition for mobile devices. To help prevent driver distraction - driver ergonomics is essential. For any intelligent mobility technology - usability will likely trump feature bloat.
Perhaps with these market and ergonomic concerns in mind, Visteon today has launched its eBee driver-interface concept with the tagline 'simple, flexible and frugal'
eBee is designed to offer features, among many, for using, sharing, owning or renting a vehicle, as a component of more general car controls.
The concept centres around alternative driver displays for vehicles, offering user-friendly vehicle controls - such as for personalising the air conditioning and even the 'fragrance auto diffusion system' - while, in terms of IM, offering an 'app' platform with intelligent mobility features.
Displays that replace the rear view mirror and other consoles
The concept uses touch display-based controls and data in 'the cloud', with the technology claimed as being "intuitive for better in car controls and social connectivity".
According to Visteon, the e-Bee challenges conventional vehicle architecture by re-thinking the position of the climate system, resulting in reduced weight and a substantially increased cabin space. The integrated climate module combines the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit with the refrigerant system, including an energy-efficient heat pump. Its position outside the cabin allows for new interior design options including an easy user experience with the vehicle’s electronics and comfort features, designed to mitigate distraction.
"From its driver interface to its compact and innovative climate system, the e-Bee is an exercise in efficient, forward-looking design for new mobility uses," said Tim Yerdon, Visteon's global director of innovation.
The e-Bee's driver interface consists of a set of three displays: a main display for journey information and two smaller screens with touch-sensing capability. The touch screens are located within fingertip distance on either side of the steering wheel, providing interaction with both vehicle controls and social connections. The car also features a projected head-down display for accessing basic driving information. In place of the traditional rear-view mirror, a display shows images from a panamorphic 180-degree rear-view camera.
A demonstration vehicle is at Visteon’s booth in Hall A6 throughout the Electronica electronics trade fair held this week in Munich.
Visteon is a global automotive supplier that designs, engineers and manufactures climate, electronics and interior products for vehicle manufacturers. With corporate offices in Van Buren Township, Mich. (US); Shanghai, China; and Chelmsford, UK. It has facilities in 28 countries and employs approximately 22,000 people.
Visteon launches its e-Bee vehicle car sharing concept at Electronica 2012 Trade Fair in Munich