Motion Control Rides Shotgun
In an effort to simplify dashboard controls, vehicle manufacturers are incorporating all sorts of new user interface options, including voice controls and touchscreens. Infotainment specialist Harman’s European division recently showed off a concept vehicle with a gesture recognition system that uses nods and hand movements to control dash functions. The system allows drivers to control the radio using winks and head movements, as well as increase or decrease the climate control temperature or initiate a phone call via a Bluetooth phone.
At this year’s CES, Mercedes unveiled its Dynamic & Intuitive Control Experience (DICE), which uses proximity sensors to allow drivers to control dashboard functions, and BMW is developing a similar system. Cadillac’s CUE system also has some limited motion-control capabilities.
Given the way some drivers are prone to wild gesticulatons, it would seem like motion control might not be such a good idea, but Harman claims the system can parse between involuntary movements and deliberate ones. According to an interview with Recombu:
“We’ve started it and now it’s about choosing the right gestures and getting it to production. You’ve got to make sure it’s culturally acceptable. In Italy for example drivers use hand gestures a lot when they drive so it needs finalizing.” —Hans Roth, director of technology at Harman
The company expects to be able to commercialize the technology within two to three years.