RAC Cars News


What Is Happening To Your Dashboard?

By raccars Published

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Do you remember the days when you thought your car was sophisticated because it came with central locking and a rev counter? Modern cars are almost unrecognisable from their earlier counterparts mechanically, and one of the biggest changes currently taking place is to the dashboard area. The dashboard has changed relatively little over the years but modern technology means it has a very different part to play these days. Accordingly, new cars are beginning to look more and more like spaceships...

Car infotainment system maker, Visteon, which supplies Jaguar Land Rover, claims that by 2018, dashboard screens will be as clear and sharp as a 50 inch HD TV. However, these screens will be less and less used, as information will be projected onto windscreens via head up display systems. Augmented reality is used to navigate by projecting arrows onto the roads ahead, for clearer and more distinct instructions than those given by old fashioned sat navs.

In car connectivity which has left vehicle computer systems open to viruses and to theft is being treated to strict new internet security systems and electronic firewalls. This should protect cars from both hijacking and malware. Systems can be upgraded via the internet from the manufacturer, in the style of a laptop.

Switchgear is on the way out, as touchscreens take the place of buttons. Systems are going compact to free up cabin space and lightweight aluminium cabling will help to keep kerb weight down. Systems will be controlled by touch, voice and gesture instead of dials and knobs.

Screens are going high definition and include 60 frame per second photo realistic rendering of 3-D instruments. Effectively, there won't be any REAL instrumentation in your car, it will all be virtual. This can be personalised in the form of individual colour and layout downloaded from manufacturer websites.

Premium vehicles up the luxury factor with a concierge service capable of booking restaurant tables, theatre tickets and even parking spaces. Real time traffic information will be available thanks to car to car and car to infrastructure connectivity and traffic light recognition software will be employed to help drivers hit green lights throughout their journey, helping to ease traffic congestion.

Intelligent software will also act as a kind of virtual assistant, deciding when is a good time to allow emails or phonecalls. Driver attention can be monitored with sensors embedded into seats and seat belts which measure respiration and heart rate - if drowsiness is detected, the driver will be alerted.

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