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Kia showcases the big-screen car cabin of tomorrow

Large screens, head-up displays, and vehicle-to-vehicle information

Published: January 07, 2014 06:00 PM

Kia used CES 2014 to showcase an array of high-tech infotainment and display configurations for its cars, along with a sharp concept coupe, called KND-7.

As automakers build in the ability for a cellular-enabled car to perform a dizzying number of functions, few are focused on how to present the information in a useful, and ideally nondistracting, way. Kia is exploring (relatively) giant screens, the likes of which haven’t been seen in production outside of the Tesla Model S.

With its so-called User-centered Driver Concept (UCD), Kia finds screen real estate in front of the driver, using an 18-inch head-up display that can overlay the outward view with speed, navigation guidance, and traffic information. This strategy limits the time a driver’s eyes have to leave the road, while preserving a more traditional center console screen for other uses, such as entertainment and app operation. In place of an analog gauge cluster is a 3D screen for common vehicle information. The system also makes use of eye-tracking and gesture controls.

Kia also shared an in-vehicle concept that displays content on a giant 20-inch screen. More intriguing, this demo also presents a vision for how vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure information would be presented, such as visual and auditory warnings for potential collisions and lane departure. The system also shares info on intersection conditions. Mirrored screens for the backseat passengers allow others to see this info, or use the screens to customize their entertainment options. Likely, this would lead to more backseat drivers.

As we’re seeing at CES 2014, more connectivity is coming, and concepts such as this from Kia show that it may have a big impact in your next car.

For cool tech available soon, check out the ability for the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray to capture track heroics in real-time video. And also see "5 trends in automotive electronics."

Jeff Bartlett

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