Nissan has bucked the trend with its latest concept, saying sayonara to table-style touchscreens.
While these super-sized displays are attention grabbers, Nissan says carmakers have other things to consider as they attempt to balance design, technology and utility.
That’s why it chose a different path in the development of its Ariya Concept and prioritised design and vision instead.
Instead of a tablet, the electric crossover has a curved, two-screen display reminiscent of a wave.
It adds to the sense of a “horizon” throughout the car, from elements in the door all the way to the rear of the cabin.
The layout reflects Nissan’s new Timeless Japanese Futurism design language, also expressed in the Ariya Concept’s unique frontal “shield.”
But the horizontal design wasn’t chosen for its good looks alone.
“The human eye naturally looks from side to side when driving,” senior manager of HMI engineering team, Tomomichi Uekuri, said.
“People can see and absorb more information if it’s laid out horizontally.
Peripheral vision works this way as well.”
In addition to conveying information better for the human eye, the layout does so from a safer location — in the line of sight, closer to the road.
The Ariya’s display keeps driving information in an instrument cluster location similar to that of a traditional car, while displaying entertainment information, comfort controls and system status in the centre screen.
Both are wrapped together in a sleek panel that flows seamlessly between driver and passenger.
Even though there are two screens, information can move or be swiped between them to create the feeling of a single display.
For example, if you want your route directions and map in front of the steering wheel, they can appear there. They can also move to the centre, or disappear when no longer needed.
“The display’s wave construction is innovative and utilises an ergonomic layout for both the meter display and the centre display, not only for visibility, but also allows the driver to easily reach the centre display touch screen.”
Like other parts of the Ariya Concept, the display is meant to convey a fully functional impression.
From music to GPS, it was important for the designers and engineers to show the world what a near-future Nissan could achieve.
It took the design team many iterations to arrive at the Ariya Concept’s innovative display.
The team built similar displays into a large black “box” that they affectionately named “the Monolith,” a nod to the movie “2001: A Space Odyssey.”
They chipped away, figuratively speaking, at the housing until it became what’s seen in the final concept car.
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