Innovative Concepts for the Automotive Industry

THE REQUIREMENTS

As part of the automotive study e-tron conducted by AUDI AG, the primary purpose was the development of an electric high-perfomance sports car. The main focus was placed on a new distinguished interior design concept.

The goal behind this particular development project was to reduce the controls currently arranged on the dashboard by implementing a multi-functional panel concept as a replacement. Without compromising on the familiar functionality, the central control unit (Multi Media Interface – MMI) in the AUDI e-tron was to become more user friendly.

Audi etron in silber

THE IMPLEMENTATION

Hoffmann + Krippner was faced with a unique challenge, including tremendous space limitations, the guarantee for reliable operation of the MMI, as well as the adaptation to the supreme design of the AUDI interior.

The initial proposal, a capacitive solution for the control unit, turned out to be ineffective, as the space constraints prevented reliable operation and created a risk for operating errors due to accidental contact. Within a short amount of time, the concept using a resistive solution was adopted, based on the SENSOFOIL® technology by Hoffmann + Krippner.

Due to the implementation of several SENSOFOIL® product variations, the initial concept of multi-functionality was maintained. Control commands can now be activated through a light touch while providing the driver with tactile feedback, as to support reliable operation.

THE RESULT

The interior of the AUDI e-tron is characterized by the nearly complete absence of universally recognized buttons and detailed components. Instead of the classic segmented display, the study entails a large display with integrated MMI-functions. It can be operated through both the touch sensitive controls on the steering wheel as well as the central MMI-panel conveniently located in the center console.

The round MMI SENSOTOUCH® integrated into the center console was embedded with character recognition software in order to make quick data entry, such a telephone number, possible. Due to the implementation of a resistive solution, operation is possible without restrictions by hand, when wearing gloves, and with a pen.

SENSOFOIL® –potentiometer based on FR4 with tactile feedback were integrated into the steering wheel, for the purpose of central control of various functions such as volume adjustment and temperature control.