People used to joke about Silicon Valley turning cars into “iPhones on wheels.” However, a quick look at the latest cockpit technologies revealed at CES 2023 shows advanced in-cabin technologies are becoming an integral part of vehicle engineering and are not just infotainment systems going along for the ride.
At CES, technology supplier Harman, a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics, the world’s fourth-largest tech company, unveiled a slew of advanced cockpit technologies designed to enhance safety, well-being and a variety of new entertainment experiences for drivers and passengers.
The company emphasizes all the new products have been validated by consumers and are ready for integration by OEMs.
“The consumerization of automotive has rapidly and drastically changed expectations for what vehicles today need to deliver,” says Christian Sobottka, president-Automotive, Harman International. “We all expect our vehicles to become an extension of our digital lives and deliver the same connected experiences we enjoy at home, at work and everywhere in between.”
These technologies are on display during the Harman Explore 2023 Showcase Jan. 4-7 at the Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas:
Ready Care: Harman Ready Care is the industry’s first closed-loop, interior-sensing and tailored-intervention product that measures a driver’s eyes, cognitive load and vitals to determine the level of focus and attention on the road. Using neuroscience, artificial intelligence and machine learning, Ready Care classifies a driver's behavior into a focused, versus distracted, state and initiates a personalized in-cabin response to help mitigate dangerous driving situations, such as stress, anxiety, distraction and drowsiness. Thanks to the September 2022 Harman acquisition of CAARESYS, Ready Care now incorporates additional in-cabin sensors that offer child-presence detection and contactless measurement of human vitals such as heart rate, breathing rate and inter-beat levels to determine a driver’s state of wellbeing.
Ready Display: Launching with NeoQLED – a Samsung display technique used for televisions to provide higher contrast and brightness – Ready Display balances price, performance and design to fit modern vehicle display needs. Harman says consumers today demand the engaging and advanced visual experience that smartphones and similar technologies deliver. Harman says it applies numerous Samsung consumer electronics innovations into its Ready Display technologies. As a result, it says these new displays deliver the visual experiences and cost effectiveness that meet consumer expectations and OEM development needs.
Ready on Demand: Around the world, more than 200 billion smartphone app downloads are triggered each year, which equals between two and three app downloads per month for every person on the planet. Ready on Demand is a software platform that includes feature bundles that can be downloaded and triggered at any time throughout the life of the vehicle to ensure relevance for owners. Ready on Demand demonstrates the ability to differentiate and personalize branded audio systems as naturally as consumers add features to their smartphones now, and with even more “wow” effect. It also provides a means to extend feature availability beyond the original point of sale and introduce new features as they become available.
Ready Upgrade: Just like a smartphone needs software updates to ensure users are receiving the latest in security features and applications, vehicles need regular updates too. Harman is introducing Ready Upgrade to provide OEMs and their drivers with innovative software and hardware that enables frequent and efficient interface updates. As a result, consumers will enjoy a longer vehicle life cycle that provides them benefits well after purchase and keeps pace with their needs and preferences due to a much-shortened development cycle. Harman says this reduces new feature time-to-market and cost for OEMs by up to 70% with low-code software development tools, pre-validated software and production-ready hardware for OEMs.
Ready Vision: Ready Vision provides an immersive audio-visual experience to assist the driver and create a safer and more informed journey with its augmented reality head-up display hardware and AR software. As technology becomes more accessible in vehicles, Harman says multiple screens and alerts heighten the risk of driver distraction and place a strain on cognitive load. The company says Ready Vision helps OEMs solve this challenge with an end-to-end product that combines a wedgeless display with a large field of view, audio and AR technology to serve the right content, at the right time, with the right level of visual detail. As a result, drivers will be empowered with the optimal level of information that helps them focus on the road ahead.
Sound and Vibration Sensor + External Microphone: These are products that allow for a variety of applications to enhance safety and user experience, from detecting emergency vehicle sirens to listening for exterior speech commands from drivers or traffic controllers, to detecting glass breakage or vehicle impact. Harman says the sound and vibration sensor can be invisibly integrated into a vehicle’s exterior while the external microphone is designed to withstand environmental elements and can be configured as a single element or multi-element array.