Continental unveils user-friendly touchscreen tech

Users can utilise hand-drawn symbols to access the various features of the vehicle.

Tags: CarContinental Corproation (http://www.continental-corporation.com/www/portal_com_en/)Germany
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Continental unveils user-friendly touchscreen tech Dr. Abel: "The use of symbols and system control through haptic methods allows drivers to access controls and functions much faster than with conventional control concepts involving buttons and switches."
By  Alexander Sophoclis Pieri Published  April 17, 2017

Continental, a German automotive manufacturer, has created a novel range of user-friendly touchscreen technologies, designed to improve the driver's interaction with their vehicle.

The system enables drivers to draw symbols on the input display that in turn engage different functions of the vehicle.

Dr. Heinz Abel, head of Cross Product Solutions at Continental's Instrumentation & Driver HMI business unit, said: "The use of symbols and system control through haptic methods allows drivers to access controls and functions much faster than with conventional control concepts involving buttons and switches. We have combined both elements to significantly reduce levels of driver distraction compared with the standard method using a touchscreen."

Utilising either handwritten or hand-drawn symbols, users can simply use two-fingers to access different parts of their vehicle's functions. Examples include drawing the shape of a house, which instructs the navigation system to select home as the destination, or the use of a circle to turn on the AC system.

"To ensure that such concepts are accepted, it is important that the symbols used are intuitive and do not have to be specially learned. At the same time, it should be possible to draw easy-to-remember symbols without getting distracted from the task of driving. Currently, in-house user studies prove that we have succeeded on both counts," says Dr. Abel.

According to Continental's own research, the technology can reduce the length of time to access features by one third, while also reducing the need to concentrate by one quarter. As a result, drivers can focus solely on the road and rarely have to divert their eyes as the symbols are often easy to draw.

"Our symbols cover the most frequently used functions in vehicle-driver communication, while, quite incidentally, the new approach makes the system much more fun to use as well," concludes Dr. Abel.

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