As the automotive sector pushes the boundaries of multimedia connectivity in the vehicle, exciting opportunities are emerging. Far from being a distraction, seamless in-vehicle access to road conditions, real-time traffic, and other media is key to driver safety. The new infotainment concept from HARMAN combines the latest in seamless connectivity solutions such as 4G/LTE to combine navigation data with a variety of external data to offer the driver richer safety data and driver assistance features. The concept is based around a “multi-display” concept, where the in-dash center console, instrumentation cluster, and head-up display are fully integrated.
The multi-display concept takes the breadth and depth of information available to a driver to a new level and also makes driver interaction safer than ever. HARMAN’s augmented navigation creates a “virtual reality” guidance experience, projecting guidance aids such as upcoming exits, signals, or collision warnings onto the windshield – helping keep the drivers’ eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
The unit includes advanced safety features to enable the vehicle to interact with its driver via the head-up display – for example, giving the driver an instant, unmissable cue (visual, audio or both) that the vehicle is leaving its lane, or that there is another vehicle in the driver’s blind spot. All this information is projected directly into the driver’s line of vision via the head-up display – the eyes don´t have to leave the road, and thus don’t have to change focus. Operation of the unit is totally touch-free: drivers change the display content safely by gesture control. Highly intuitive to use, touch-free gesture control puts drivers in charge of an array of infotainment options without the hazard of distraction: for instance, the driver can reject an incoming phone call just with a swipe of the hand, or change what’s shown on the display.
“We’re delighted to be introducing this exciting new system,” says Michael Mauser, executive vice president and co-president Infotainment and Lifestyle. “It’s a totally logical step for us. The automotive sector is moving to ever greater in-car connectivity and multimedia, and HARMAN, with its groundbreaking in-vehicle infotainment solutions, is ideally positioned to make this technology part of the smart, responsive control systems in an advanced head-up display. There are some great synergies just waiting to be used.”
Highly connected and touch-free
The new head-up unit has a spacious display area, high resolution and excellent color depth, giving drivers the detail and clarity they need to interpret information feeds instantly. Navigation is easier than ever, with the guidance arrows projected into the driver’s view. The head-up unit is also designed for maximum convenience, with a face recognition feature to identify drivers and automatically adjust settings such as seat position. For seamless high-end connectivity, the unit features LTE capabilities and an in-car Wi-Fi hotspot for streaming content such as email and weather updates. Drivers and passengers can hook up their own devices with minimum fuss, bringing greater entertainment choices into the car.
In the “Smart Cities” of the future, the vehicle control unit can even be connected to the city infrastructure. It will know how long the car has to wait for example at a red light, and depending on driver preferences can use this time to stream email or messages to the head-up display. As ever, safety is paramount – the unit never challenges the driver more than the traffic situation allows, and the infostream is turned off before the lights go green. Accordingly, every generation can enjoy a relaxed yet aware driving experience – not just older drivers who will appreciate the responsiveness of the system, but also younger “digital natives” who will like the connectivity and multimedia options.
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HARMAN at CES 2013
Visit HARMAN during CES 2013 for more details and to receive a demo the company’s full portfolio of infotainment and lifestyle audio systems. HARMAN is located in the Central Hall, Booth 10431, in the Las Vegas Convention Center, January 8-11, 2013. Follow HARMAN online during CES 2013:
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