With the massive expansion of infotainment and driver assistance systems, the communication between driver and vehicle is becoming more and more complex. The requirements on new display and operating elements are increasing. As well as on the comprehensive monitoring of the various assistance functions, the focus is also especially on the logical intuitive operation of the respective operating elements. Therefore, for future HMI concepts (human-machine interface), the visual perception and the acoustic and haptic feedback have to be given the same consideration. In addition to this there is an increase in the requirements for vehicle safety. Even with all the functionality, the usability has to remain simple and intuitive, thereby contributing to the safe operation of a vehicle.
As a development partner of automobile manufacturers, the ES-Tec GmbH is working on new operating and switch concepts and the design of HMI instruments. We are playing a key role in the development of a completely switchless multifunctional steering wheel that was first presented at the CES in Las Vegas in January 2016. The steering wheel reacts to gestures and swiping movements, slight haptic feedback helps the driver when looking for functions, and strong feedback is triggered when the desired function is activated. The active haptic feedback is modeled on the switch operation.