"Driving To A Better Future": ISMB and JAC together at Auto China 2014 in Bejing

In the recent past software giants such as Google and Apple invested significantly to introduce Android and iOS operating systems concepts into the world's largest carmakers products and vehicles. In line with this worldwide trend, JAC Italy Design Centre has developed a new disruptive concept for an innovative user interface in close collaboration with Istituto Superiore Mario Boella. The project was carried out also in cooperation with the Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC) located at ISMB, specialized in embedded systems and cloud computing.

The results of the joint efforts are shown at Auto China 2014 in Bejing, from 20 to 29 April 2014. The resulting new smart user interface will be the first one to be launched in China based on gesture control functions.

The most challenging goal of the project was the design of a new interface between the driver and the vehicle. The project is led by the two core concepts “More safety, More intelligence“. The system is able to distinguish a set of hand gestures and positions, and to react with corresponding actions and feedbacks, both visual and audio. In this way the driver can be much more focused on the road in front of him/her. At the same time the use of gestures and the vocal feedbacks provided by the system give customers a whole new driving experience.

In the menu design phase, the designers of JAC Italy Design Centre adopted a forward-looking logo and special principles to design the operation interface, in which the rotating menu fits smoothly with hand gestures. The entire operation page has a science-fiction design style, consisting of sci-fi elements such as mechanical arms and ring apertures.

The proof-of-concept shown at Auto China 2014 is a web browser based interface running on a common PC hardware with a hand gesture sensor, designed to control graphics animations and sound effects through gestures, to simulate a set of functions of a future in-car dashboard.

Further steps of the collaboration will envisage the exchange of information between personal mobile devices and the new infotainment system: customers will use their smart phones to read QR Codes, which is extremely popular now in China, and then ask the system to display the related information. Furthermore, by using a few simple confirmative operations, the system can even launch directly the navigation functions, further improving the smart driving experience.