There is an opinion that a decision to buy or not to buy a car is made immediately after boarding. This is why carmakers invest a lot of work to make the so-called driver’s workplace as comfortable as possible for everyone. If from the side it looks like the driver is looking at a fairly ordinary front panel, then in fact behind each button there are countless employees who have spent thousands of hours together, thinking that all the switches are at the right height and distance.
Content will continue after the ad
Tools available to manufacturers
The need to provide the driver with all the information he needs, while giving him access to all the support systems included in modern cars, is not an easy task in this digital age, it is like a complex puzzle. To solve this, manufacturers can and do use a variety of tools.
For example, the American Tesla, unlike most other carmakers, has a central touch screen in the vertical position of their “Model S” and “Model X”. Although atypical, such a solution is logical, because it provides more information and, if a person is friends with a smartphone, it is easier for him to perceive.
However, such a vertical screen also has some negative aspects, and the main one is the ability to distract the driver from the road and driving. French “Peugeot“In its latest generation cars, such as the city model” 208 “and the compact crossover” 2008 “, the driver’s workplace is built and furnished according to the” i-Cockpit “philosophy.
Since 2010, when the manufacturer introduced the SR1 concept car and the term Peugeot i-Cockpit was first introduced, the French company’s cars differ from their competitors with a small-diameter steering wheel, a driver’s eye-level instrument panel, a large-scale touch-sensitive information and an entertainment system center with piano keys similar to the controls of various car functions in the middle of the front panel, as well as an ergonomic and intuitive automatic transmission lever. You can use tactile buttons on the center screen or voice commands to manage the machine’s systems and functions. Peugeot statistics show that more than five million cars are currently rolling on the world’s roads, interacting with the driver through the i-Cockpit.
The main task – to make the car comfortable for everyone
The developers of Peugeot’s innovative, unprecedented driver’s workplace have faced a number of ergonomic challenges, as well as changing the rules of visibility and car architecture and answering the question: how to make people of any body feel comfortable behind the wheel so that they can read information from the instrument panel and be able to take full advantage of the car.
The difficult task was accomplished by first conducting an anthropometric study of the diversity of human physical structure worldwide. In the end, it turned out that the main factor to guide the driver’s seat was not the person’s height, but the relationship between the length of his legs and the circumference of his chest. With this parameter in mind, it is possible to determine exactly how a person sitting behind the wheel will be able to read the data on the instrument panel, see the road in front of them, and access all the switches and controls. Anthropometric data made it possible to calculate which steering and seat adjustment options should be provided for the Peugeot i-Cockpit to be comfortable. The fact that this study and the data obtained from it are extremely important is not difficult to notice when sitting in any French-branded car with an “i-Cockpit”.
To make a decision to buy a car, you have to get in it. It cannot be said that this is the moment when a potential customer makes a final decision to buy a car. Rather, it is a moment when it is decided not to buy a car, because it simply does not fit due to an inappropriate seating position – the knees rest against the front panel and trim elements, the seat is uncomfortable, the pedals are too close to each other, the head presses against the ceiling and so on. For this reason, it is advisable to test several cars critically and comprehensively, as the internal dimensions of a similar car can be very, very different inside.
Not only the information is important, but also its amount
Today’s car is almost unthinkable without a digital dashboard. The entry of this innovation into the automotive industry does not only mean the freedom of creative designers, who are responsible for creating an attractive dashboard environment. It also has the ability to provide the driver with a large amount of data about the car, the road and the surroundings.
With the advent of digital instrument panels in the automotive industry, some aspects raised concerns. For example, to see what information is being given to him, the driver takes the road off for too long. Also, finding the information you need can take too long, and then it’s no different than driving a phone with one hand. For driving to be safe, there cannot be too much information, but it must be logically available. For example, if a rally pilot is unable to clear the car’s distance readings in order to be able to follow the route quickly, this is already a bad example of digital ergonomics.
Ideally, everything is at eye level
Large car manufacturers are well aware of this, so when designing a digital dashboard and deciding on the placement of information in it, they carefully choose what will be displayed to the driver, how certain functions will be activated and how it will be easiest to find the data they need. For example, Volkswagen has introduced an improved voice command system in its eighth-generation Golf that finds climate control settings when the driver simply tells the car in English that “there is a smell in the cabin”, “it smells here” or “I’m cool” (” smell in the cabin “,” it smells “or” I’m cold “).
Some car manufacturers use a windscreen to display the required information, projecting on it, for example, the speed of the car and the basic readings of the navigation system. This method is extremely convenient because the information is directly in the driver’s field of vision, at eye level. At the same time, the projections on the windscreen also have drawbacks, because in the evening, when it starts to get dark, the reflection of data can distract the driver or even obscure the view of the road. To reduce the brightness of the projection screen, he then has to look for the appropriate auto settings, which are not always quick and easy to find.
Peugeot therefore decided to go the other way. The i-Cockpit’s instrument panel is designed so that all the information it contains is in the driver’s field of view and you don’t have to deviate from the road to read it. The latest generation of Peugeot models, such as the 208 and 2008, feature a three-dimensional i-Cockpit instrument panel with animated information and holograms. The most important information is especially highlighted and magnified so that the driver can see it in an instant.
It is estimated that this innovation can reduce driver response time by as much as half a second. It doesn’t seem like much, but a car that travels at 100 kilometers per hour drives almost 14 meters in half a second. And that’s the distance that corresponds to three compact cars in a row. This fact only demonstrates once again the importance of keeping the virtual walk in the car settings system as short as possible.
In an age where car-sharing services are becoming extremely popular and people are able to travel in several brands in one hour, their ease of use as well as simplicity are extremely important. On the other hand, when a person decides to buy a car, such nuances as the convenience of connecting the phone and the car, the speed of finding various functions can greatly influence the decision on which car to buy.