ENTIRE WINDSCREEN AREA AS A PROJECTION SURFACE
A look into the interior: Rather than a dashboard, a brilliant expanse of screen extends across the entire width of the vehicle at the front. This is supported by head-up technology, which uses practically the entire windscreen area as a projection surface. As a result, when the seats are facing the direction of travel, a great deal of information is projected onto the windscreen in what is known as augmented reality. Naturally there are no longer any navigation instructions telling the driver where to turn off, as the car does this automatically. Nor is there any parking information – the car looks for a space and parks itself. The displays show information from the surroundings – for example whether friends or acquaintances are also on the road in the vicinity, and have perhaps sent messages suggesting a good place to stop for a break. Or a display will give confirmation that the hot drinks automatically ordered at the start of the journey from a favourite drive-in café will be ready precisely as the car turns into the driveway.
CONTINUOUS EXCHANGE OF INFORMATION BETWEEN THE VEHICLE, PEDESTRIANS AND THE OUTSIDE WORLD
One of the central ideas in the research vehicle is a continuous exchange of information between the vehicle, its occupants and the outside world. This is implemented by means of six all-round displays harmoniously integrated into the dashboard, side walls and rear wall, making the interior an interactive, digital space – a perfect symbiosis of the virtual and real world. “In the F 015, augmented reality is combined with an innovative operating concept using eye-direction and gesture recognition: Cameras follow the movements of the pupils and recognize where the occupants are looking – and the multimedia computer starts processing the appropriate monitor content,” says Peter Lehmann, department manager for research vehicles at Daimler and F 015 project manager, as he explains some of the extensive technology. The occupants can intuitively interact with the networked vehicle using gestures or by touching the high-resolution monitors. “Sensors recognize the occupants’ hands and provide conveniently accessible user interfaces with control options suited to the situation.”
MOST VEHICLES ON THE FREEWAYS WILL DRIVE AUTONOMOUSLY
“All these features allow travel within a perfect mobile space, but interaction with the world outside can be initiated very easily and at any time. Detailed information about what is seen outside the car windows can for example be brought into the interior and shown on-screen with a hand gesture. Inside the car, a swiping gesture can be used to transfer screen content from one monitor to another – very easily and above all intuitively,” Lehmann explains. The vehicle, its multimedia systems and all applications and contents can be remotely preconfigured using an app. The F 015 can be commanded to park itself, for example – and it can even be sent to a specific location to collect the user or other people.