New contactless touchscreen technology developed by Jaguar Land Rover and the University of Cambridge will help keep drivers’ eyes on the road and reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses in a post COVID-19 world.
The patented technology, known as ‛predictive touch’, uses artificial intelligence and sensors to predict a user’s intended target on the touchscreen – whether that’s satellite navigation, temperature controls or entertainment settings – without touching a button.
The pioneering system, developed with engineers at the University of Cambridge, is part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Destination Zero vision – a desire to make its vehicles safer and the environment cleaner and healthier.
Jaguar Land Rover vehicles are already designed to help improve passenger well being, with innovations including a Driver Condition Monitor, engine noise cancellation and cabin air ionization with PM2.5 filtration to capture ultrafine particles and allergens. New technology like predictive touch is another step forward as we address the wider landscape of mobility, from how customers connect with mobility services, to the infrastructure required to enable fully integrated, autonomous vehicles in our cities, like Project Vector.
Lab-tests and on-road trials showed the predictive touch technology could reduce a driver’s touchscreen interaction effort and time by up to 50%, as well as limiting the spread of bacteria and viruses.
Uneven or poor road surfaces can often cause vibrations that make it difficult to select the correct button on a touchscreen. This means drivers must take their attention away from the road, increasing the risk of an accident.
Professor Simon Godsill from Cambridge University’s Department of Engineering led the project. He said: “Touchscreens and other interactive displays are something most people use multiple times per day, but they can be difficult to use while in motion, whether that’s driving a car or changing the music on your phone while you’re running. We also know that certain pathogens can be transmitted via surfaces, so this technology could help reduce the risk for that type of transmission.”
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