Acura Unveils Precision Cockpit Design
Acura used the Los Angeles Auto Show to present its new Precision Cockpit design, an interior styling and technology exercise that serves as a pattern for what we’ll see in its upcoming vehicles. Created to complement the next-gen exterior treatment introduced on the Acura Precision Concept that debuted earlier this year in Detroit, this advanced interior setup is slated to hit showrooms by the end of the decade. Melding an enhanced operating system with a new touchpad-based interface, Acura claims it provides better and more direct access to the vehicle’s connectivity features as well as its semi-autonomous driving technology.
Acura says the seats, steering wheel and drive-mode control of the Precision Concept were inspired by the performance-focused NSX, but the overall cabin design also integrates conventional luxury touches including supple leather, Alcantara, real wood and brushed metal set off with copper LED accent lighting. The driver’s main input is via a reconfigurable 12.3-inch high-res color display fitted with a real-time 3D engine. In addition to providing all of the expected conventional information, it transitions to an advanced mode when the driver engages the vehicle’s semi-autonomous capability. Using on-board cameras/sensors plus artificial intelligence and leveraging vehicle-to-vehicle communications, the system presents views of surrounding cars, cyclists, pedestrians and other potential dangers -- including hidden obstructions – to help build driver confidence in the car’s inherent ability to safely maneuver through any threat.
The Precision Cockpit also features a second touchscreen mounted high in the center of the dash that controls the infotainment, navigation and more. It employs a unique curved touchpad optimally positioned in the console that minimizes distraction by eliminating the need to visually locate a button or switch. Beyond its location, this next-gen touchpad relies on absolute position mapping, a feature that perfectly aligns the driver’s pad interactions with what shows up on the display with “favorites” positioned along the bottom and scrolling on the side margins. According to Dave Marek, Acura’s executive creative director: “Absolute positioning transforms the touchpad experience, making it personal, intuitive and particularly well-suited for premium, driver-centric, performance machines. It’s also designed to be quickly and easily adopted, as drivers become acclimated and comfortable in minutes.”
Another key feature introduced in the Precision Cockpit is a new Android-based Acura operating system the automaker says will provide secure access to mobile apps and other data in a clear, user-friendly format. It features two main presentation zones and always keeps the navigation data prominent even as the driver scrolls through audio settings or while accessing weather or other information.
Acura also used the Los Angeles Auto Show appearance to confirm it would enhance the current AcuraWatch suite of active safety and driver-assistive technologies next year by adding Traffic Jam Assist to the mix on certain models.
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