According to Jaguar Design Director Ian Callum, "For instance, if you want to pull the windows down, you touch a certain area of the glass and you can actually just drop them down." Callum would go on to caution, "These things are all a work in progress at the moment," before pausing and saying, "That's coming."
When we asked when we might see such technology deployed in a production car, Callum, who spoke with Autoblog at the Detroit Auto Show on Monday, said, "I don't know when, but we certainly know how to do it."
Callum was less forthcoming about how the technology functions, saying, "Oh, I can't tell you (laughs)... it's proximity, mainly." It's not clear whether traditional physical switches mounted on the doors would still be required with such a system.
The designer then went on to discuss Jaguar's innovation in proximity-based switchgear – the automaker has already been using the technology for its interior overhead lighting controls and glovebox release. When we asked about any safety concerns that touch-control windows might generate, Callum said, "I think if it's a very specific area, there's absolutely no ambiguity about what you're trying to do – it's fine."
Callum knows a thing or two about the need for absolute specificity in this area – when Jaguar introduced its XF sedan with proximity switchgear, it found passengers were accidentally opening their gloveboxes with their knees, which prompted a quick redesign. "It's a whole new genre of disciplines that we have to think about – what is safe," he said.