Smart cockpit is a concept that can bring people infinite reverie.
If you put aside technological maturity and feasibility, probably everyone can paint a picture of a very futuristic smart cockpit. For example, in a completely unmanned cockpit, people can rest, entertain, and have meetings completely freely… Almost without feeling, they can travel at high speed. Cars will become people’s second living rooms, offices, makeshift lounges, and more.
We have to go back to the reality of the “smart cockpit,” though. It will take time for the popularization of fully autonomous driving, and it is estimated that the driving position and steering wheel will still be the mainstream configuration in the past ten years or so. The so-called “smart cockpit” mainly solves the problem of “smart cockpit”.
With the rise of mobile Internet, Internet of Vehicles, 5G, artificial intelligence and other technologies, the smart cockpit as a composite concept has gradually become popular in the past two or three years.
At present, there is no unified definition or clear standard for “smart cockpit”. This concept will involve functions such as assisted driving and travel planning of the car itself, as well as new experiences such as in-vehicle communication, human-vehicle interaction, and intelligent networked services.
Now almost every car factory has to install a “Hello, little XX” intelligent voice system in the car, and then the car factory will immediately announce the grand blueprint of opening the “smart cockpit”. A car company executive said that at the company’s internal brainstorming meeting on “smart cars”, employees imagined too many functions. During the implementation process, some functions had to be reluctantly removed to maintain the user experience. It is conceivable that the concept vat of the smart cockpit can put any technology in it.
So, is there a reasonable evolutionary logic for the functions of the smart cockpit? Is there a focus and priority for user experience? Do you have a clear judgment on the problems facing the smart cockpit and the next development? These may be car manufacturers need to fully demonstrate and continue to practice.
If we want to know what the “smart cockpit” looks like in a short time, we can immediately present a technology platter: Internet of Vehicles, full LCD instrument panel, HUD, in-vehicle infotainment system IVI, advanced driver assistance system ADAS, voice Recognition, gesture recognition, AR, AI, holography, ambient lighting, smart seats…
But maybe after you understand these technical concepts one by one, you may be more confused, and you will ask: what kind of “smart cockpit” do we need?
If a new set of exam papers comes down and no classmates in the class have standard answers, then the easiest way to get a high score is to copy the answers of the classmate who studied best in the class. How to do the smart cockpit? Since there is no established standard, then learn from the most advanced car manufacturers.
Some depots have adopted the central control large screen, and the following depots have also begun to take the large-screen route, or even the multi-screen route; some have launched in-vehicle voice assistants, and the followers have also begun to launch their own smart assistants, and then add gestures. Recognition; some have launched in-vehicle navigation plans, and followers will recommend restaurants and movie theaters to you; some use cards to unlock, and followers will use fingerprint unlocking, face unlocking, and mobile APP unlocking; some have launched fatigue detection, follow The user will start to fill the camera with as much physiological data as possible of the user…
The functions of the platter-shaped smart cockpit make the imagination of car companies boil, and also make consumers excited when purchasing. But when it comes to the real use scenario, many redundant functions may become the traditional TV remote control of the year. We can’t use 90% of the buttons, and the cost will be increased.
In addition, in these various intelligent experiences, there are also many pseudo-demands. Between the technical engineers of the depot and a large number of ordinary users, there is a huge leap in thinking, that is, the technology that the depot thinks is feasible is the demand that users will definitely use.
For example, in midsummer or cold winter, it is a very practical requirement to remotely start the vehicle air conditioner cooling and heating in advance through the mobile phone APP, so it is a bit too “advanced” to control the home in advance through the car. I have seen a function that can cook rice remotely. Although the rice cooker can be turned on remotely, someone has to put rice in it first.
Another example is the human-computer interaction when driving. Under the existing semi-autonomous driving situation, if the driver frequently uses intelligent services and makes a large number of decisions such as restaurant selection, seat selection, and payment, it will inevitably increase the risk factor of driving.
In addition to technical feasibility and cost control, car companies must fully consider the driver’s cognitive load and driving safety experience. It can be said that all cockpit functions that are divorced from the actual use scene of the car may be useless “pseudo-requirements”.
In addition, the so-called “smart cockpit”, the key is “intelligence”, and intelligence is inseparable from the iteration and evolution of software and hardware. A car is a durable product that will be used for several years, and the intelligent cockpit service it carries will definitely not be formed at one time, nor will it remain unchanged. If you can’t achieve a real OTA (Over-The Air) upgraded smart cockpit, it is basically a pseudo-smart cockpit. But what is a true OTA? If it is only to upgrade the UI and interaction design in the central control system, and add some multimedia functions, it is an incomplete OTA; if it can realize the software upgrade of the intelligent assisted driving system ADAS, optimize the vehicle control experience, so that the vehicle can “” The more you open, the more new” is the so-called true OTA.
The practical problems in the development of intelligent cockpit are inseparable from the early stage of development. But this does not mean that car manufacturers can use their own technology to “willful” and “add bricks and mortar” to the concept of smart cockpit without planning. After all, car companies are not having a good time now. Excessive pursuit of innovation and speed, if there is no consumer to pay, it is obviously not worth the loss.
Unlike autonomous driving, which has a clear grading standard, the concept of smart cockpit itself is complex and non-standardized. There are currently two different definitions on the market.
The most futuristic definition of a smart cockpit is a smart mobile space. The industry sees it as a new product category that combines cars and rooms. Cars can be divided into private passenger cars, commercial vehicles, and freight cars, and houses can be divided into living rooms, hotels, offices, and shops. The combination of different types of automobile products and housing spaces with different functions will form a new product category. .
Toyota’s e-Palette already has the prototype of this new product, and the interior space can already be used for carrying passengers, conferences, retail and other functions. As a digression, the kind of “breakfast bus” that has been parked at the subway entrance in Beijing for a long time does not need to be so “embarrassed” lying on the subway entrance.
Another definition is to start from the needs of users, and regard the smart cockpit as an intelligent service system that can understand and understand the needs of passengers, and can also meet the needs of passengers. Some people call the highest stage of the smart cockpit under this definition “senseless comfort”, that is, passengers don’t have to worry about driving and traveling in the smart cockpit, and they can also get corresponding services from this space. and comfortable experience.
Either way, the mature form of the smart cockpit is associated with fully autonomous driving. So how should the smart cockpit develop before the realization of unmanned driving? Although it is difficult to formulate detailed standards, we can try to establish some “step-by-step” upgrade principles and key planning for various scenarios for smart cockpits.
In general, the service experience of the smart cockpit should be coordinated with the popularization of different levels of autonomous driving.
For passenger cars with L2 level assisted driving, the most important smart cockpit experience is still driving assistance and travel planning. Through HUD, LCD instrument panel, 360° driving images, etc., driving data prompts, AR real-time navigation and timely road condition reminders can reduce the risk of driver’s attention diversion and increase driving safety. These will become the focus of intelligent services. When reaching the L3 level, it can provide drivers with some more non-driving services, and can handle calls, emails, browsing information, booking shopping, etc. for more human-computer interaction experiences; and reaching the L4 and L5 levels, people no longer need to driving needs, so that a full smart cockpit experience is possible.
Secondly, different smart cockpit services can be provided according to the usage scenarios of different types of cars. For example, private passenger cars are different from shared travel and commercial vehicles. The former pays more attention to personalized user experience and preference settings, collects user data in more dimensions, and provides more service experience. On the other hand, shared travel and commercial vehicles pay more attention to the basic stability and safety of the vehicle. Due to the large number of passengers, more attention is paid to the smell, air circulation and disinfection in the car, and more attention is also paid to personal privacy.
In addition, different intelligent experiences can also be provided according to all scenarios in which the user uses the vehicle. For example, in the interactive experience before, during and after using the vehicle; for example, covering the driving experience in different locations, such as the driver’s driving position, provide key driving information as much as possible, and at the same time do a good job in monitoring the driver’s physical and emotional state; , space experience outside the car, etc.
In the current smart cockpit experience, it is irresponsible to talk about the richness and leading edge of functions without safe driving.
Although many technologies are emerging and mature, the leap-forward adoption of overly radical technologies may only reflect the strength of car companies’ “technical marketing”, but cannot really hit the pain points of consumers’ needs.
So, standing at the moment of 2020, what technological development and industrial opportunities are the smart cockpit ushering in?
Last Valentine’s Day, Tesla launched a new “Dog Mode” feature in its OTA for electric vehicles. This function is to leave the pet dog in the car alone and leave it to Tesla to take care of it. Tesla will also provide a suitable air conditioning temperature when it is turned off, and remind passersby through the central control screen that pets in the car are under supervision. If the power is insufficient to support the operation of the air conditioner or the dog is anxious, the vehicle will send a message to remind the owner to return to take care of it as soon as possible.
Such a thoughtful “marketing” event well interprets the new application scenarios of the current smart cockpit. 1. The characteristics of electric vehicles can allow the vehicle to generate new usage scenarios; 2. The sensors and central control equipment in the car can well understand and meet the needs of use in the car; Intercommunication.
Combined with the current development status of 4G/5G-V2X, AI and autonomous driving, the intelligent cockpit integrating these technologies can further develop the following technologies and form corresponding industrial development opportunities at the same time.
1. The application of vehicle visualization screen. In the future, one machine with multiple screens, including “LCD instrumentation, HUD, central control screen, rear seat entertainment, steering wheel, and windows”, will become standard in cars. The current mainstream configuration is mainly the LCD instrument panel, HUD and central control screen for the front row of the driver’s seat, which mainly enhances the driver’s safe driving experience and travel navigation needs. Among them, HUD and AR navigation have become the technologies that car companies will focus on next by virtue of their improved driving safety and multi-functional Display integration.
2. Intelligent enhancement of human-vehicle interaction. At present, mass-produced vehicles with smart cockpit attributes have introduced a large number of sensors such as cameras and microphones in the car. With the hardware support at the perception level, technologies such as voice interaction, gesture interaction, and driver and passenger status perception will also be more applied.
3. The Internet of Vehicles will continue to develop in depth. The interconnection between mobile phones and cars is still the current mainstream trend. Remote control of some predetermined functions of the car through mobile phones will bring great convenience to travel. The realization of more Internet applications through in-vehicle screens has long been a battleground for Internet companies, and the interconnection between cars and smart homes requires the emergence of mature application scenarios.
Fourth, the safety of the assisted driving system is improved. Use sensors and cameras all over the body to realize functions such as automatic parking, automatic parking, AI safety assisted driving, and vehicle anti-theft and loss prevention.
In addition, in the transformation of intelligent vehicle hardware, such as adding biosensors to steering wheels, seat belts, seats, etc., to monitor the physical condition of drivers and passengers, and improve their riding posture, temperature and comfort indicators.
On the whole, the popularity of smart cockpits has benefited from the addition of automotive hardware and technological improvements, on the one hand, from the application of intelligent software, especially the wide application of AI technologies such as voice, face, and gesture recognition, as well as the Internet of Vehicles. The richness of the software system. And the application of these new technologies will bring a considerable number of industry segments to many manufacturers.
At present, the development of smart cockpit is still in the initial stage of climbing, and the experience of smart cockpit has not really been experienced by most drivers. However, with the maturity of the above technologies and the decline in cost, more mass-level models will also begin to apply these “black technologies” of intelligent experience.
And the service of smart cockpit does not use the logic that the more the better. After all, ordinary users care more about the cost performance of the car. The key to winning the user’s payment should be based on the user’s real needs and experience, and try to maximize the current driver’s high-frequency experience as much as possible.
The smart cockpit is an evolving concept. At the current stage, car companies must have clear development goals, do not need to blindly follow the trend, and do not need to be too innovative. They should deeply integrate with the characteristics of their own models, and control the update rhythm and cost of software and hardware. The Golden Mean in Risky Times.