The car interior and cockpit with their interactive user interfaces are evolving with the development of electric vehicles. In BMW’s iX premium SUV, for example, the high-performance computer for the cockpit and the head-up display, which projects all relevant information such as speed, important warning signals and guidance arrows for the navigation system directly into the driver’s field of vision, are supplied by Continental. An integrated driver camera analyzes images of the driver’s head position, eye aperture and line of sight to ensure that a warning is emitted in the event of distraction from the traffic situation or lack of attention due to fatigue. With its control system for the so-called Sky Lounge in the BMW iX, Continental has even made the panoramic roof intelligent. The large glass surface can be darkened electrically depending on the lighting conditions. Through the interaction of functions, Continental thus offers key components for ensuring seamless interaction between human and vehicle.
Good sound quality also enhances the in-vehicle user experience. Continental and audio specialist Sennheiser have completely reinvented the sound technology for vehicles. The result is the Ac2ated Sound System, in which conventional loudspeakers have been replaced by actuators that generate sound by causing certain surfaces to vibrate. Compared with the sound systems currently on the market, this enables a weight and installation space saving of up to 90 percent, which in turn results in greater vehicle range. The technical trick here is to regard the interior as a resonating body comparable to a violin, the wooden body of which acts as a resonance chamber. In other words, body parts, door trim panels or the rear shelf serve as resonating bodies, allowing the system to be integrated into any vehicle model. Electric cars in particular benefit from the new technology since weight and space savings are particularly crucial. Moreover, an integrated algorithm automatically converts audio sources into 3D sound. By analyzing and mixing the sound components, the software provides a completely new 360-degree sound experience for the vehicle occupants.