The reality is that the additional wiring, while it is mostly for the excess accessories, is much more economical and more reliable than the system using a multiplexed control line.
Do you remember that prediction, the 42 volt system and a single data bus, and the while car only needing three wires? The very best part of that idea is that it did not happen! For starters, we normally don't get 42 volts from three 12 volt batteries in series. So calling it 42 volts immediately was a poor call from the very start. And the main reason for the three batteries was to support the pre-heated catalyst idea, which came from somebody who was totally detached from reality. You can read about it in the archieves of Design News from a few years back. The stated excuse was to support all of the many new electrical things in a car, but clearly that reason was not valid.
I did come across a very interesting writeup about some researcher inventing a far more compact high-value capacitor made from polystyrene. That discovery could wind up being a game changer in a number of areas. Have you come across this yet.
If you were able to explore the process at the auto companies you would find one group trying to remove distractions and make the vehicle safer, and you would find another group striving with all their might to add features and gimmicks in order to obtain product differentiation. Unfortunately that group often prevails, since they are linked to marketing and upper management, while engineers are linked to production and reliability. Since none, or very few, at a lower level, of the decission makers in an auto company are engineers, it is simple to figure out who prevails most of the time. Of course, safety does not sell, except Volvos, and marketing and money are close companions, and even useless features sell. So you can easily guess the winners.
I avoided naming names to protect the guilty. They know who they are.
I see your point, William K. Even though the number of physical buttons has been dramatically reduced on this display, the number of icons is still a distraction. As hard as automakers are trying to reduce distraction -- and I believe they are trying hard -- they could reduce distraction far more by eliminating center console screens altogether.
I can see this one being very distracting to a driver. How about: LOSE THE ICONS, and use large text, probably with a different tree path for the selections. But still it is way to busy for a driver. Stuck in a traffic jam it may be OK, but at 70MPH it will be a source of dangerous distraction. I can see that it has lots of features, but they will distract the driver.
This is a clean display and I like the haptic feedback, especially on the temperature, but i wonder how easy the screen would be to use while driving. Although i am sure it would become easier to use over time, it seems as if it could be distracting in the begining.
The 100% solar-powered airplane Solar Impulse 2 is prepping for its upcoming flight, becoming the first plane to fly around the world without using fuel. It's able to do so because of above-average performance by all of the technologies that go into it, especially materials.
With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
Good engineering designs are those that work in the real world; bad designs are those that don’t. If we agree to set our egos aside and let the real world be our guide, we can resolve nearly any disagreement.
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