VAN BUREN TWP. — Two hands on the wheel, but maybe a glance of the eyes to the side once in a while to turn up the heat or turn down the stereo.
That could be part of the automotive future, according to Van Buren Township-based Visteon Corp. (NYSE: VC) which has unveiled an automotive cockpit concept demonstrating how drivers can select some vehicle controls through eye movement and head direction.
Hidden eye-tracking cameras capture this data to deliver an advanced human-machine interaction.
In a demonstration of the technology to consumers at a research event, Visteon said 81 percent of respondents felt that the system was easy to operate and 78 percent found it enjoyable to use.
“Visteon continually introduces working prototypes that utilize advancements in technologies traditionally found outside of the automotive space,” said Martin T. Thall, president, Visteon Electronics. “We want to spark creative dialogue with our customers that can result in new automotive solutions to improve the driving experience.”
The objective of the HMeye cockpit concept was to develop an HMI control system that enabled drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, potentially mitigating distraction. Vehicle controls such as the radio, cabin temperature and navigation all can be operated through the drivers’ eyes.
“The eye gaze feature and steering wheel controls provide fast response time,” said Paul Morris, innovation manager at Visteon. “This has the potential to improve safety by minimizing the driver’s eye movement away from the road and keeping his or her hands on the wheel. Advancements in camera technology, along with size reduction, have allowed the automotive industry to incorporate camera capabilities for in-vehicle applications at a reasonable cost,” Morris added. “This system showcases technologies that may lead the movement toward autonomous driving.
Read a blog from Morris about the HMeye cockpit concept system at http://blog.visteon.com/2014_06_01_archive.html