Visteon, a major supplier of automotive instrument panels, has a vision for future car interiors that will soon give you a different view of your dashboard.
One of the most interesting ideas Visteon has developed is a user-customizable gauge cluster that they say will be available soon from a major manufacturer. Like traditional gauges, Visteon's Reconfigurable Cluster displays speed and RPMs using classic needles and numbers. Untraditionally, though, the new design simulates those gauges with LCD displays that can be modified to present the information in almost any way imaginable. End customers could potentially even upload their own designs, skins, etc. to make their instrument panels their own unique design.
The clear plastic hood surrounding the cluster isn't merely decorative. As you can see in the photo above, when a door is ajar, the hood glows red. When high-beams are on, it turns a subtle blue. Turn signal indicators light up the entire left or right side yellow. It's a simple and elegant feature.
Click through the jump to read more about Visteon's instrument technologies and click here for a high-res gallery from the company's booth at CES.
Live Photos Copyright ©2009 Chris Tutor / Weblogs, Inc.
In Visteon's tent, opposite the Boston Acoustics 2010 Camaro, was an IP display reminiscent of Volvo's waterfall design center stack, except that in place of Volvo's rows of buttons was a single I-Drive-type dial on a featureless silver panel. Nice, but kinda stark. Until a Visteon rep touched it. Then it revealed its secrets with rows of subtly-glowing buttons mounted below the metal surface. It was a very elegant and visually-pleasing design that we hope never makes it to production. Even though the buttons gave touch feedback when pressed, they can't be felt. Drivers would have to take their eyes off the road to find controls for anything.
The demo's information display was somewhat the same way. When not in use, it fades out behind the all-black dashboard. Touch one of those disappearing buttons and it comes back. Very nice in design, but we're skeptical of the practicality. Drivers couldn't, at a glance, see what song was playing or if the defrost was on. They would first have to touch the center stack to awake the system, check the display, glance back to find the right button, then again at the display to confirm their selection. To be fair, Visteon rep David Gulau said the demo was meant to be more of a demonstration of what was capable, not necessarily future plans.
Click here for a high-res gallery of photos from Visteon's CES 2009 tent.