Horizon Cockpit gesture driving gives traditional knobs the finger

visteongestureA new car cockpit concept from Visteon demos a new way to control your car with gestures. Visteon supplies automotive makers with equipment, if they like it and buy into it, you could be driving with gestures in a few years.

The Horizon cockpit concept lets the driver control interior temperature, audio and navigation through combing gestures and voice.  Looking at the controls is not necessary because the gestures don’t have to be precise like tapping on a tablet or smartphone screen.

  • Gesture control – A camera system detects the driver’s hand to show the hand on the screen. Turning the knob in the air turns the knob on the screen.
  • Virtual touch screen – behind leather or vinyl is a touch sensitive pad, the driver pushes on moves fingers on the pad for controls.
  • Double-layered screen – there are two layers of controls, by a stronger push on the touch pad the driver can push through to the second layer for more control.
  • Voice control – voice can used with any of the above touch methods.

Called a human-machine interaction (HMI), the horizon cockpit makes it controlling systems easier even for older drivers.

Visteon tested the Horizon cockpit in its research clinic. 70% showed a strong interest in a virtual volume knob in their next vehicle, stating that it was easier and more convenient than searching for a traditional volume knob.

Users to  rotate their hand in space to turn a virtual knob. Users can change the function of the knob with their voice. For example, if the user says “knob volume,” his or her hand now controls a virtual volume knob. This virtual knob can be re-purposed for a number of features, including adjusting temperature, changing radio stations, selecting songs from a playlist, etc.

When an elderly man used the system, he called out “knob-volume,” and he rotated the knob in space. He heard the lowering of the music volume as he moved the knob. He liked it because he had problems reaching and gripping the knobs in his car due to arthritis. Often he was not sure where functions are buried in menus in his car.  He liked that he didn’t have to look at the screen.”
Turning a virtual knob was easier while driving than a a traditional knob, pushing buttons or tapping a precise spot on the screen, like smartphones and tablets.