Tag Archives: HMI

AutomoBlog features Atmel’s AvantCar concept

Earlier this week, Atmel showcased its AvantCar curved touch screen console concept at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. As Atmel Marketing Director Stephan Thaler notes, the exhibit demonstrates the future of human machine interface (HMI) in upcoming vehicles. 

Indeed, the fully functional console features two large curved touchscreen displays – without mechanical buttons. Instead, the touchscreens integrate capacitive touch buttons and sliders, allowing users to navigate general applications typically found within an automotive center console.

Atmel’s CES 2014 AvantCar demo was covered by a number of publications and journalists during the show, including Chris Nagy of AutomoBlog.

“No longer accepting that a touch interface or screens must be flat, convex and concave shapes could be commonplace. The majority of devices [at CES 2014] showing off curved displays are smartphones and televisions. However, one company at CES is marketing the potential of curved touch controls in future automotive interiors,” writes Nagy.

“Atmel has brought an array of ideas purposing to change the way driver’s interact with their cars. Exhibited on their AvantCar concept, Atmel’s high-tech interior features reveal several advancements meant to make the interaction with vehicle controls more natural and attractive. While Atmel’s local interconnect networking systems will probably appeal fascinating to automotive engineers, a large touchscreen with an ultra sensitive, high response rate exhibited within the AvantCar’s center console can easily entice the broad audience of gadget-loving motorists.”

In his AvantCar article, Nagy also highlights the importantl role Atmel’s XSense technology plays in the demo and beyond.

“Employing a surface utilizing metal mesh technology, the XSense touch sensor residing inside an automobile could greatly contribute to sound ergonomics and interior style,” says Nagy.

“Perhaps the first spot coming to mind for the use of Atmel’s XSense technology would be creating curved vehicle infotainment displays operating on MyFord Touch or the systems related to newly-announced Android-based consoles.”

As the journalist points out, XSense offers a stylish, viable alternative to mechanical switches, knobs and buttons found in almost every modern vehicle interior.

“On future vehicles, windows, door locks and climate controls could potentially be operated through touch with XSense. Who knows, maybe the steering wheel could also be replaced with a wheel-like touch sensor on a future car,” he adds.

“Atmel champions the longevity and weatherproof of the XSense touch sensor as being beneficial for applications within future vehicle interiors. The wide-scale possibilities of curved touch sensors will also serve as a blessing to the interior stylists for major auto companies as a full-range of shapes can be presented in a cutting-edge fashion.”

A closer look at Atmel’s AvantCar concept



Earlier this month, Atmel debuted its AvantCar concept at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. The fully functional console features two large curved touchscreen displays – without mechanical buttons. 

Instead, the touchscreens integrate capacitive touch buttons and sliders, allowing users to navigate general applications typically found within an automotive center console.

This includes global navigation system (GPS), car thermostat, audio controls for a radio or media player, seat controls and more. AvantCar also allows drivers to personalize their in-vehicle environment using advanced touch capabilities and LIN connectivity system to control ambient lighting.

According to Atmel Marketing Director Stephan Thaler, AvantCar successfully demonstrates the future of human machine interface (HMI) in upcoming vehicles. Indeed, next-generation automotive designs will be influenced by a wide range of trends in the consumer market such as slick and curved centerstack designs, as well as customization by appearance, color, navigation and interaction with a smartphone or tablet.

Atmel offers a number of comprehensive platforms and solutions to address the current and future requirements of a modern in-vehicle human-machine interface (HMI). However, the AvantCar Centerstack demo is the company’s first fully functional concept showcasing groundbreaking solutions within the automobile.

To be sure, AvantCar is powered entirely by Atmel technology, including maXTouch (two touchscreens), XSense (curved panel design), QTouch (touch buttons and sliders), dedicated algorithms running on Atmel touch chips and microcontrollers (proximity detection), as well as LIN-based ambient lighting control.

Let’s take a closer look at the above-mentioned technology behind the concept.

maXTouch

Atmel’s maXTouch lineup is qualified for various automotive applications, including in-vehicle touchscreens and touchpads.

maXTouch supports screens and pads from 2 inches up to 12 inches in size and is ideally suited for center stack displays as well as navigation systems, radio human-machine interfaces (HMIs) and rear seat entertainment systems. In addition, maXTouch devices provide unlimited touch identification, fast response time, precise operation and low power consumption for touch-based designs.

XSense



Atmel’s XSense touch sensors open a new world of possibilities for touch-based products. A highly flexible film, XSense sensors can be used on curved surfaces and edges, facilitating the design of futuristic in-vehicle touchscreens and surfaces. XSense also enables the replacement of mechanical switches or rotary knobs on a curved centerstack surface with more reliable, moisture-resistant, touch-based buttons.

QTouch


Atmel’s QTouch library makes it easy for developers to embed capacitive-touch button, slider, wheel and proximity functionality in microcontroller applications.

The library facilitates the design of touch panels in the centerstack, as well as overhead or door panels. Plus, the royalty-free QTouch Library offers several files for each device, while supporting a number of touch channels – enabling both flexibility and efficiency in touch applications. In addition, Atmel provides a number of fixed-function products from 1 to 48 channels, with some of them qualified for the automotive market.

Automotive-qualified mcirocontrollers



New automotive functions require local intelligence and control, which can be optimized by the use of small, powerful microcontrollers.

In conjunction with a corresponding touch library, Atmel’s automotive-qualified MCUs are ideal for driving new and futuristic capacitive-based control panels in current and future cars.

LIN-based ambient lighting control



We offer LIN-related products at all integration levels – from simple transceiver ICs to complex system basis chips (SBC), along with system-in-package solutions such as the Atmel AVR ATA664251 for ambient lighting control.

Interested in learning more? You can check out Atmel’s extensive automotive portfolio here.

Atmel showcases AvantCar concept at CES 2014



Atmel is showcasing its AvantCar curved touch screen console concept at CES 2014 in Las Vegas. According to Atmel Marketing Director Stephan Thaler, the exhibit demonstrates the future of human machine interface (HMI) in upcoming vehicles.

atmelavantcar

“Today’s drivers are demanding richer user experiences in the automobile, similar to smart devices in the consumer market,” Thaler explained. 

“This includes capactive touchscreens, curved form factors, personalized color schemes and navigation menus via touch buttons and sliders. AvantCar addresses all these requirements with an advanced user interface in the center console to include [the latest] technologies.”

As Thaler notes, Atmel’s AvantCar concept demonstrates a fully functional center console highlighting two large curved touchscreen displays with no mechanical buttons. Instead, the touchscreens integrate capacitive touch buttons and sliders – allowing the user to navigate general applications typically found within an automotive center console including global navigation system (GPS), car thermostat, audio controls for a radio or media player, seat controls and more. 

AvantCar also allows drivers to personalize their vehicle environment via advanced touch capabilities and the automotive local interconnect network (LIN) connectivity system, enabling individuals to simply push a single button to alter the car’s ambient lighting.

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.

Additional technical details are listed below:

  • Curved touchscreen display – XSense, Atmel’s highly flexible touch sensor, employing metal mesh technology, can be used on curved surfaces and edges, giving the console a sleeker, more elegant design. XSense also facilitates the replacement of mechanical switches or rotary knobs on the curved center console with moisture resistance and glove support for drivers in cold climates.
  • Large capacitive touch screens – AvantCar offers optimized touch performance using Atmel’s automotive-qualified maXTouch controllers that support touchscreens and touchpads up to 12 inches. maXTouch controllers provide faster response times, more accurate touches and lower power consumption than other solutions on the market today.
  • Proximity sensing and capacitive touch buttons and sliders – Atmel’s QTouch technology provides a more intuitive user interface, effectively replacing mechanical buttons or rotary knobs while adding capacitive proximity detection, all embedded in a single controller. Proximity sensing will detect the approaching hand and then control, for example, lights to turn on/off and the touchscreen backlight accordingly. This feature is also ideal for night time driving especially for GPS, radio control and thermostat checks.
  • Ambient lighting controls – Atmel’s LIN solutions, based on the company’s RF and automotive-qualified AVR MCUs, offer an ambient lighting control option for each driver to personalize car lighting.

“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 pr@atmel.com to schedule an appointment.