Automotive intelligent cockpit design trends

| short summary of a cockpit design trends report, published early 2021

According to a report of 2020 looking at new car models and concepts cars released in the last years, following major directions of intelligent automotive cockpit design trends can be summarized:

  1. Richer versatilities
    New products are getting introduced with developing automotive electronics, such as driver monitoring systems, driving recorders, rear row and co-pilot entertainment displays. Additionally, intelligent surfaces allow further versatility – window or sunroof glasses can become displays and intelligent seat materials can become interfaces as well.
  2. Multi-channel, fused human-vehicle interaction
    New ways besides touch and voice control are active voice assistants, gesture control, fingerprint reader, sound localization, face recognition and holographic imaging. These multi-channel interaction modes can contribute to safer use and driving as well as deliver an extended user experience.
  3. 3D and multiple screen cockpit displays
    We see dual-, triple- and quint-screen and A-pillar display implementations for delivering control, co-pilot and rear row interactions.
  4. “User experience”-centricity and scenario-based interaction
    In-vehicle scenario modes are getting in focus – the car interior should serve as an intelligent, connected, flexible and comfortable personal space, for e.g. driving, resting, working or even shopping. As a UX-centered implementation example the Mercedes-Benz S-Class ambient lighting system was named, that uses 263 LEDs to adapt to driving situations (warnings) or give a real-time feedback of interactions with the onboard computer.
  5. Interaction with every surface via intelligent materials
    New surface materials are introduced in concept cars to explore touch control possibilities like displaying fuctional buttons in new ways.
  6. Touch feedback as key technology for higher level of safety
    Besides TIER-1 suppliers also several start-ups are developing touch feedback technologies for supporting less distraction and more effective driver-car interaction.
  7. Software systems will be keys of differentiation
    The introduction of Android to in-car entertainment systems was a big step. The need for personalization and simultaneous software and hardware iterations and 3D vision are new challenges for the operations system development in realizing intelligent cockpit systems.


[1] Summary of: “Automotive Intelligent Cockpit Design Trend Report, 2020” by ReportLinker. Retrieved on 09.01.2022

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