At Electronica in Munich last month Visteon unwrapped its e-Bee concept vehicle, which represents the company’s vision of mobility in 2020.
Visteon expects more car sharing and short-term rentals as alternatives to private vehicle ownership by then, and to accommodate that trend the concept car allows a set of preferences for each user to be stored in the cloud and retrieved when the driver enters the car. The preferences define the look, colors and layout of the human machine interface (HMI) to make it immediately familiar as drivers move from one car to another.
The HMI includes a main display, two touchscreens within easy reach, and a head-down display for basic driving information. Instead of a rear-view mirror the concept car shows images from a 180-degree rear-view camera.
The interior of the concept car has been maximized for occupants in part by positioning a climate module in the engine compartment. The module combines the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit with a refrigerant system that includes an energy-efficient heat pump. HVAC niceties include a cooled shopping box in the trunk, a cluster ion generator, and a fragrance auto diffusion system.
Each occupant has access to a door-mounted module for control of the climate system and individual climate zones, and control of a personal headrest-mounted audio system. Audio content can be played from a Bluetooth® enabled personal device set in its own wireless charging bay in the door.
Technologies featured in the e-Bee concept range from advanced development to application-and commercialization-ready. At Electronica Visteon demoed vehicle display systems it’s been working on with defense systems specialist BAE Systems and with LCD vendor Japan Display Inc. (JDI).
The work with BAE is focused on head-up displays (HUD), which present important information such as speed, blind-spot detection, turn-by-turn navigation, or collision avoidance warning, directly in the driver’s line of sights. Two systems each use a TFT (thin film transistor) as an image source. One is a traditional windshield HUD and the other, smaller and less expensive, projects HUD data onto a combiner, a clear screen mounted on the instrument panel above the cluster.
Visteon’s third-generation reconfigurable instrument cluster platform and JDI’s high-definition TFT display support complex 3-D graphics and video camera inputs. A 12.3-inch display provides 1920 x 720 pixel resolution and an 8:3 aspect ratio, specs that Visteon says are currently unmatched in the automotive market.