Concept Car highlights human-car relationship

Concept Car highlights human-car relationship

Feature articles |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

In view of current developments in autonomous driving, Kyocera has focused primarily on the car’s interior in the development of its concept car, which has been christened “Moeye”. The company, which actually specializes in electronics and technical ceramics applications, developed a cockpit that combines innovative approaches with original vehicle design. The developers also were able to draw on their extensive experience in the design and production of displays. In cooperation with Professor Masahiko Inami from the Research Center for Applied Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo, Kyocera was able to implement a unique virtual representation of the environment in the concept car. This expands the passengers’ view by making the cockpit seemingly transparent: On the dashboard, instead of the virtual instruments, a 3D image of the road in front of the vehicle, captured by a camera, appears. Kyocera calls this technology “camouflage.

The Kyocera engineers also play with the use of head-up displays (HUDs): Instead of a HUD, the high-resolution projection of a small figure (“mobisuke”) appears on the windshield and provides the driver with information, for example, about navigation.

To provide better visibility, Moeye’s virtual dashboard (below) can be switched to a view of the road ahead of the vehicle (top). (Source: Kyocera)

The ceiling and ambience lights are equipped with biologically friendly lighting that, thanks to Kyocera’s Ceraphic LEDs, can adapt better to the spectrum and should enable more subtle color differences than conventional LED technology. Ceraphic is similar to the spectrum of natural sunlight, and the lighting conditions in the morning and evening are also taken into account. This should result in a more pleasant driving experience.

In addition to these optical highlights, the Moeye also has a feature that is designed to appeal to the haptic: The virtual switches on the dashboard and center console are equipped with Koycera’s tactile feedback technology Haptivity. With the touch, the pressure of the fingertip triggers small vibrations that imitate the feeling of pressing a button. This is a step towards improving the interface between man and machine, because simple touch displays do not offer such a haptic feedback.

Moeye also has something to offer for the ear: Instead of conventional loudspeakers, the concept car has integrated vibrating loudspeakers which, thanks to piezoelectric elements, distribute sound throughout the entire interior, thus creating a pleasant listening environment. Among other things, these vibration loudspeakers are located in the headrests.

Last but not least, Kyocera is trying to create a pleasant ambience with olfactory elements: If desired, the concept car will emit certain fragrances in the interior. Depending on their current mood, occupants can choose between five different scents – another measure to enhance the well-being of the driver and passengers during the journey.

Lead designer Ryuhei Ishimaru, President of Fortmarei Inc, explains the background to Moeye: “The design theme of Moeye is ‘time’. This concept car was designed to embody the automotive history from ‘traditional’ to Kyocera’s ‘car of the future’. The exterior profile appears like a classic coupe, while the details and geometric shapes show a clear futuristic development. The interior, equipped with the latest technologies, has new shapes and warm textures that recall an era of handcrafted craftsmanship. The cockpit consists of a minimalist design with a futuristic feel, inspired by a virtual reality experience. You can feel the future emerging from the tradition of the automobile in a way that appeals to several of the five human senses and is not just about form and design”.

More information:

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