Visteon Corp. is showcasing advanced technologies that the company expects will power the in-vehicle user experience of the automotive cockpit in the emerging era of more automated driving. Visteon’s integrated solutions are aimed at improving safety on the road while enabling seamless access to information—from personal devices, the vehicle, and the cloud—using the latest innovations in technology.

The company's new cockpit electronics architecture includes a high-powered cockpit domain controller that integrates the instrument cluster, infotainment, and other cockpit functions into a single ECU with advanced graphics, over-the-air software updates, and state-of-the-art cybersecurity. Large, high-resolution displays are curved and non-rectangular to deliver an enhanced viewing experience without limiting interior panel design. A scalable autonomous domain controller for Level 2 and higher automated driving is integrated with the cockpit domain controller for seamless interaction with the driver.

Also featured is a machine learning-based voice recognition and text-to-speech solution intended for a natural language, conversational smart assistant. In-cabin driver and other occupant detection and identification technology, also based on machine learning, are designed to provide improved safety functionality.

“The shift toward electric cars and improved automated driving technology is an opportunity to rethink the cockpit in terms of how drivers and passengers interact with the vehicle and their surroundings,” said Visteon President and CEO Sachin Lawande. “As vehicles become more automated, there is a need for fresh approaches to the human-machine interface in the cockpit—to ensure control can shift safely and seamlessly between the driver and the vehicle, and to keep occupants informed, engaged, and entertained.”

“In the era of increased automated driving, the cockpit will become a smart, learning, mobile assistant,” Lawande continued. “Visteon’s industry-leading digital cockpit solutions offer automakers a complete suite of technologies to upgrade the user experience of their vehicles.”

At CES, Visteon demonstrated the integration between the SmartCore cockpit domain controller and the scalable DriveCore autonomous driving controller, which combine to create what the company says is a seamless human-machine interface (HMI) between the driver and the vehicle. This interface manages the experience of drivers and passengers as the vehicle takes control from the driver or gives it back. SmartCore is being deployed by Mercedes-Benz on its A-Class (see video below).

SmartCore features third-generation Qualcomm Snapdragon automotive cockpit platforms, which are engineered with immersive graphics, multimedia, computer vision, and artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, as well as heterogenous computing capabilities. SmartCore can independently operate several cockpit domains on one system-on-chip (SoC) through a single driver interface.

New Visteon platforms featuring the Snapdragon automotive cockpit platforms are expected to launch with multiple automakers in the 2020-21 model year timeframe. Visteon will also be working with Qualcomm Technologies to feature the next-generation Snapdragon automotive cockpit platforms in its DriveCore platform.

“In addition to developing self-driving technology, Visteon has been focused on improving the experience of the driver and passengers in the increasingly more automated cars of the future,” Lawande said. “As cars take over the driving function, it is important for the occupants to understand and trust the vehicle’s actions, and for the vehicle to sense its surroundings and the driver’s readiness to resume control. We are focused on delivering a comprehensive, flexible, and scalable digital cockpit solution for Level 3 and higher applications.”

Visteon showed an array of digital displays based on LCD and OLED technologies, including some with curved and non-rectangular shapes. The company also demonstrated its new VX display solution that offers integrated haptic feedback, proximity sensing, and knob-on-glass features.

Visteon demonstrated an in-vehicle conversational smart assistant using machine learning for voice recognition. The Visteon “say ‘n serve” smart assistant solution is designed to use natural language processing for onboard or offboard commands in cars without always needing cloud connectivity. In addition, Visteon demonstrated a driver-monitoring solution that also uses machine learning technology. The Visteon “see ‘n sense” in-cabin monitoring solution offers head-pose detection, gaze detection, and identification capabilities that are key for enhanced safety.

Visteon also showcased what it says is the industry’s first V2X module that works with either dedicated short-range communications (DSRC) or cellular networks. This gives automakers the flexibility to offer support for either wireless technology, depending on the needs of the market.