Harman Digital Cockpit displayed at 2018 CES could be the future of luxury cars

Article by Christian A., on January 10, 2018

The rivalry among automakers to create the most sophisticated and intuitive vehicle interior is at an all-time high. But there’s one name that stood out at CES. Technology company Harman, a subsidiary of Samsung, has shown us what the future could be. At the 2018 CES event, Harman launched its new Digital Cockpit Concept. It has certainly caught a lot of attention with its superb execution.

Firstly, Harman decided to lose the standard central infotainment screen that you see in most vehicles today. And to replace that, they added a massive, retractable display that stretches from the center of the dashboard, all the way to the passenger door instead. While this isn’t the first time for this kind of design to be unveiled, it is by far the best that we’ve seen. It comes with a huge QLED screen that gives both the driver and the passenger access to control it, choose options, and customize it to how they personally want it. Passengers of this car will never be bored.

What makes it even more practical is the fact that two people can simultaneously use the single screen. In other words, the passenger can use it to play games, browse through the internet, or stream videos, at the same time the driver utilizes the navigation information or music. As for the design, it may look like one massive QLED screen in the centerpiece, but it is actually made of a number of smaller OLED screens that can barely be distinguished throughout the cabin.

In the center, there are also three dials to control air temperature, time, as well as to access voice assistance - like Microsoft’s Cortana or Amazon’s Alexa. Within each dial are tiny OLED screens that display the desired functions. More OLED screens can be found in places like under the dials, which are where user can control A/C controls, driver settings, and other various vehicle options.

Having said all that, the digital cockpit concept, as you can see in the images, has been fitted in a sleek cabin, and is well in tune with what modern customers expect to see. This will definitely look good with the digital moonroof. And if you attended the CES event, you probably saw that it came in the cockpit of a Maserati GranCabrio that starts at $338,000. However, Harman did say that this can be fitted in other vehicles too.

Harman’s Digital Cockpit platform definitely sets the bar high for future vehicles. It represents a new generation of communications and ergonomics inside a vehicle, letting drivers focus on their driving, while safely interacting with on car technology and entertainment.

Press Release

HARMAN and Samsung Unveil the Future of Connectivity and Autonomous Driving at CES 2018

It hasn’t been a year since HARMAN International became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics focused on connected technologies for automotive, consumer and enterprise markets, and the two companies have already leveraged their combined teams and resources to drive future mobility forward. Unveiled today at CES 2018 are a host of unique connected car solutions that support HARMAN and Samsung’s joint mission to become the leader in connectivity and autonomous driving: connecting the lives of people, whether at home, on the go, or together in the car.

These key innovations showcase an integrated approach to a rich digital car experience, including:

A reinvented digital cockpit platform for all vehicle segments that has given the interior of the car a makeover;
A new telematics solution along with the industry first automotive-grade 5G-ready connectivity solution; and
An ecosystem of partners and solutions to further build out the Samsung open autonomous platform, along with a showcase of our first implementation of this together with TTTech.
Each new solution was made possible through the HARMAN-Samsung alliance that leverages Samsung’s global scale, R&D capabilities, dominance in mobile/TV/semiconductors and distribution channels and HARMAN’s leading connected car heritage, relationships, market knowledge and growing community of innovation partners. Both companies are also making global investments in start-ups to help OEMs meet growing consumer demand for in-vehicle technology through scalable solutions that enhance the user experience for every vehicle segment.

“Together with Samsung, we have increased innovation speed through scale, resources and competencies to help automakers focus on the car’s evolution from device-centric to experience centric,” said Dinesh Paliwal, HARMAN President and CEO. “HARMAN has the heritage and expertise in automotive, and collectively HARMAN and Samsung harness our best technologies and global scale to accelerate how we better serve the needs of automakers in this rapidly evolving automotive market.”

The new Digital Cockpit platform includes a suite of flexible and scalable premium experiences that support today’s connected lifestyles without compromising safety or performance. It’s available in standard and advanced system configurations and can seamlessly integrate the instrument cluster with center console via voice, haptic feedback, and physical knobs and steering wheel controls in a single, center screen for all vital vehicle information and features. This also supports a multi-modal approach for interactions with different human-machine interfaces to allow customization in terms of HVAC, media and user settings.

The Digital Cockpit platform brings an entirely new generation of communication and ergonomics inside vehicles, allowing drivers to focus on the road ahead while intuitively and safely interacting with their in-car technology. This is made possible through a projection mode for services and apps via a user’s smartphone, allowing for increased personalization. A greater IoT ecosystem via cloud technology in the entry-level segment, as well as mid/high-level configurations, not only improves connectivity, but helps lower costs and overall vehicle weight.

In a premium configuration, the Digital Cockpit weaves together a driver’s entire connected lifestyle across the Internet of Things. Through a multi-display layout that leverages HARMAN’s Ignite Platform, the in-car user experience can be personalized for the driver and passenger via services such as virtual personal assistants, portable profiles, augmented reality and more. This also allows for the Android OS to be integrated on four displays – a first for the industry.

Focused on a future generation of shared mobility, the premium Digital Cockpit personalizes occupant experiences, so drivers and passengers feel like the car is theirs even if they don’t own it. By leveraging the phone as a key service, the system can automatically access subscription services associated with user profiles while Bixby offers intelligent personal assistance to help occupants complete tasks by voice, touch, gesture and context-based triggers.

The Digital Cockpit is scalable and made available for every automotive segment, offering future proof and safety focused features within a developer-friendly open ecosystem.

Source: Harman

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