Valeo shows HMI for automated driving

September 25, 2015 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
If cars drive automatically, do they still need a human-machine interface? If so, which elements does it need to have? Automotive supplier Valeo faces these questions with its Mobius 2 cockpit.

As long as completely driverless vehicles are not the state of the art, probably no car will drive autonomously all the time; in many situations the human driver will be in command. Valeo’s Mobius 2 cockpit takes up the question of how the transition phases can be implemented in a safe way, and how the (virtual) cockpit instruments could be used in phases when the vehicle is under autopilot control.

Mobius 2 actually is more than a car cockpit with speedometer, rev counter and fuel gauge. It interacts with the autopilot computer and when the latter detects traffic situations favourable for automated driving, it suggests a switchover by visual and audible indicators. If the driver agrees, he activates the related switch at the steering wheel and the vehicle continues its travel in autopilot mode. Then the large display hitherto indicating vehicle-related parameters changes its function. It displays the content of a smartphone the driver may use in the car, only at better resolution and with a larger size. The phone, of course needs to be connected to the vehicle by means of a WiFi or HDMI link. The driver then can use the smartphone app of his preference; for this situation, Mobius 2 supports smartphone integration standards such as Miracast, Chromecast or Airplay. To enter his input without the need to take his hands off the wheel, the steering wheel bears two smartwatch-sized touchscreens for the left and the right hand, respectively. To keep the driver (and then passenger) informed, the display also contains a dedicated section depicting real-time data about the environment.

Not so trivial is the opposite situation. After all, the promise of autonomous driving contains the perspective that the driver may turn to other activities, including conversation with his fellow passengers, reading or even sleeping. The Mobius 2 concept makes clear that the technology is not yet there: The driver has to keep his hands on the