Hyundai seems to think your next car needs more screens in order to reduce distractions. Their virtual cockpit is quite something!
Hyundai’s European division has unveiled its ideal cockpit idea. The concept, dubbed HMI Virtual Cockpit, could have been confused with all those April 1st jokes – some automakers do not hesitate to have a little fun on this spring tradition – but this is not the case, Hyundai is already working to make a more user-friendly driving experience since the last couple of years.
Let’s just say that the two touch screens installed at both ends of the steering wheel of this Hyundai i30 (the European version of our Elantra GT) cockpit gave the impression of an April Fools. However, these two small screens are two innovations worthy of mention in the concept, they are in addition to the one mounted in the center of the dashboard, as well as the one behind the wheel.
The two haptics screens mounted on the steering wheel can be personalized to the driver’s preferences, the functions available to each of them can be moved via the central display. Hyundai also specifies that the particularity of these two screens is that they are haptic, which means they react to touch, as is already the case with smart devices or even some screens of recent vehicles.
For now, Hyundai has not yet decided on the feasibility or even the relevance of this touch steering wheel, but a study done in collaboration with WIVW (Würzburg Institute for Traffic Science) reveals that Hyundai’s virtual cockpit is below the standards established by the AAM and NHTSA. In other words, drivers would be less distracted by this touch solution, even in more complex situations.
We’ll see if Hyundai is moving ahead with this touch solution for their cars. What is good, at least with these photos provided by Hyundai Europe, is that the manufacturer seems to want to democratize this new technology, as the Hyundai i30 remains an affordable car. What’s more fun, however, is the presence of a manual gearbox on official shots, a technology that forces the driver to engage with his vehicle, quite the opposite of the current trend that points to fully autonomous cars.
Hyundai’s Virtual Cockpit Picture Gallery