Panasonic Automotive Creates Driver-Focused Concept to Demonstrate Latest Human-Machine Interface Technology

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Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America (PASA) will unveil its vision for a driver-focused vehicle interior and user interface showcasing the company’s latest smart cluster and head-up display technology at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Realizing that modern automotive Infotainment systems are increasingly feature-rich, Panasonic’s Advanced Engineering & Design team set out to create a system to meet or exceed the latest proposed NHTSA guidelines without sacrificing the features or performance customers have come to demand from their in-vehicle Infotainment systems.

The driver-focused concept is the result of this effort. “We observed that today’s design paradigm that puts everything in the middle of the vehicle for both driver and passenger use is very limiting and isn’t working for either occupant,” says James Grace, PASA’s Director of Advanced Engineering. “Our team decided to put everything in front of the driver and allow for the passenger to control the system from a smartphone.” Panasonic built the Driver-Focused Concept around its new line up of Head Up Displays, which are more than 40 percent smaller than those currently on the market and their new smart clusters, built on the same platform as their award-winning Infotainment products.

“NHTSA’s guidelines state that the driver should never have to look more than 40- degrees downward to operate systems in their vehicle. We designed this concept to exceed that requirement by more than 35 percent by using steering wheel controls the driver can operate by feel alone,” Grace said.

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“This concept shows what a vehicle interior could look like once all the rules changed,” says Grace. “Technology has given us a new way to imagine an interior layout designed from the driver’s point of view while giving the passenger a different experience. The right technology can enable the designers’ creativity…not inhibit it.”

The Driver-Focused Concept will be officially unveiled at the 2014 North American International Auto Show during the company’s media walk-through on Monday, January 13, 2014. For the past two years, Panasonic has been recognized by the information and analytics provider IHS as the top supplier of automotive Infotainment systems worldwide, the only supplier to enjoy double-digit market share.

About Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America Based in Peachtree City, Georgia, and with Detroit-area operations located in Farmington Hills, Mich., Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America is a division company of Newark, New Jersey-based Panasonic Corporation of North America, the principal North American subsidiary of Panasonic Corporation, which is based in Osaka, Japan, one of the world’s leading developers and producers of innovative digital and other electronic products for consumer, business and industrial use.

Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America also acts as the North American operating company of Panasonic’s Automotive Systems Company of Japan, which coordinates global automotive industry systems and components operations.

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Raffaele Schiavullo
the authorRaffaele Schiavullo
ADMINISTRATOR - Senior 3D/Virtual Reality Specialist and Automotive HMI developer - Working in London and "insanely" passionate about technology and its creative applications