Honda’s luxury division, Acura, has unveiled their version of digital instrumentation called the Acura Precision Cockpit. The near-production technology concept is designed to highlight three major themes in mobility innovation – electrification, automated driving and connectivity.
The instrument panel houses a wide high-resolution 12.3-inch driver’s display that dispenses various driving information including real-time 3D graphics to support a dynamic layout that displays other cars and road objects recognised by the vehicle’s advanced sensors when autonomous driving is engaged.
A matching centre display is placed high in the cabin. Both displays feature custom colors and animations that match the mood of the driving mode selected by the driver – white for Snow, blue for Comfort, red for Sport and orange for Sport Plus.
The centre display is operated through a curved touchpad positioned in the centre stack. The touchpad is said to be ergonomically designed to eliminate the need to visually locate a button or a switch.
Using what Honda calls “absolute position mapping”, the new generation centre display aims to combine the flexibility and useability of a touchscreen with the comfort and reduced driver distraction of a remote-based approach.
According to Acura, a traditional touchscreen approach is intuitive and direct, but forces a compromised placement of the screen close to the driver and out of the driver’s natural line-of-sight. A traditional remote-based interface – common in luxury cars – solves these challenges, but the interaction between the remote and the display is often indirect and clumsy.
With absolute positioning, the interaction with the touchpad aligns precisely with the actions on the main display. Every spot on the touchpad is mapped to a specific function on the main display, just like a touchscreen. Favorites are positioned along the bottom and scrolling is positioned along the outer edges. A tap on the top left corner of the touchpad engages the content on the top left corner of the centre display.
“Absolute positioning transforms the touchpad experience, making it personal, intuitive and particularly well-suited for premium, driver-centric, performance machines,” said Dave Marek, Acura’s executive creative director. “It’s also designed to be quickly and easily adopted, as drivers become acclimated and comfortable in minutes.”
The Acura Precision Cockpit will find its way to future Acura and Honda vehicles.