It’s Saturday afternoon and you have to drive your daughter to soccer practice and pick up her friend on the way. You also want to listen to a particular radio program and make some important phone calls. To make your driving experience easier, Mitsubishi Electric is developing predictive technology that will suggest a route based on your previous driving history, come up with an alternative route if you hit a traffic jam, and make it simple as pushing a button to find that radio program, make those phone calls, and even adjust the air conditioning to boot.
Mitsubishi expects to ship its Ultra-simple HMI (human-machine interface) technology for in-car operations to auto manufacturers from spring 2018. It demonstrated a prototype system in a recent Open House event at its headquarters in Tokyo.
In a mock-up driver’s seat, the driver was able to easily operate four main functions: navigation, phone, air conditioner, and audio-visual system. This was done in one or two steps using a set of three buttons on the steering wheel while viewing three predicted operations on a 44-cm heads-up display (HUD) on the windshield above the dashboard—operations such as Go to soccer practice ground, Call boss, Tune to radio station XYZ.Voice commands can also be used to control such operations and is activated by long-pushing one of the buttons. For navigation control, the voice recognition technology uses “data stored on board, as well as up-to-date cloud-stored destinations data covering about 10 million locations,” explains Hiroaki Sugiura, general manager of Mitsubishi’s design center.
The predictive technology relies on such operational history as past destinations and routes taken, and previous use of in-car functions, as well as time and day, location, speed, fuel level, and current traffic and driving conditions. It then estimates the three most likely operations to be used and displays them on the HUD. They can be overridden using a set of four separate buttons that provide direct access to the main functions.