VentureBeat’s Dean Takahashi recently interviewed Atmel’s Stephan Thaler about the company’s AvantCar curved touch screen console. The futuristic concept is currently being showcased at CES 2014 in Las Vegas.
As Thaler notes, Atmel’s vision includes curved displays with no mechanical buttons. The primary challenge? Making everything easy to operate and noticeable – without distracting the driver. Indeed, consumers are accustomed to the responsive touchscreens on their smartphones and tablets, expecting the same rich experience from the screens in their cars.
“We’ve tried to look into the future of the human-car interface,” said Thaler.
Nevertheless, many cars on the road are still equipped with old resistive touchscreens — if they have the devices at all. These screens are fairly slow to respond and are considered inaccurate compared to capacitive touchscreens on smartphones. In sharp contrast, Atmel’s AvantCar concept is built around a fully functional center console consisting of two large curved touchscreen displays with no mechanical buttons and a slot for docking smartphones.
One screen features a navigation map, while another offers capacitive touch buttons and sliders. However, both the primary and secondary screens are capable of displaying a wide range of data from various systems, including GPS navigation, thermostat, audio controls, seat controls and more.
AvantCar also allows drivers to personalize their internal vehicle environment (ambient lighting) via advanced touch capabilities and the automotive local interconnect network (LIN) connectivity system.
The entire AvantCar center console is powered by Atmel technology, including the XSense touch sensor, maXTouch controller and QTouch, as well as automotive-qualified MCUs and LIN drivers for the ambient lighting control in the demonstrator.
“Atmel’s AvantCar is designed to show an avant-garde concept of what future car center consoles are likely to look like and how responsive they will be to a driver’s touch using advanced HMI interfaces,” added Thaler. “We are pioneering new ground with our technologies for the automotive segment and are thrilled to add more focus in this area for the upcoming years.”
The demo – designed in in conjunction with Germaneers GmbH – can be seen at Atmel’s Meeting Room #MP25958 located in the Lower Level of the South Hall at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an appointment.
Interested in learning more? You can check out Atmel’s Bits & Pieces AvantCar blog post here.