It’s the classic holiday commercial: a family celebrating the season walks out to their driveway, and everyone’s delighted to see the latest hot car model wrapped in a big red bow. This year, all eyes are on the automotive industry, but the buzz isn’t about how fast the latest car is or sleek new models capturing a fresh design. Instead, the focus is on how the automotive industry is bringing a whole new experience to consumers, thanks to connected devices and Manufacturing 4.0, from mood-setting ambient lighting in vehicles to the convenience of wireless device charging and robust infotainment systems. Here’s a closer look at five of the most exciting automotive features you’ll see in the latest vehicles – all of which are being made possible, in part, by our Sketch-to-Scale® solutions.
Ambient lighting: mood lighting for your car
Today’s audiences want personalization, and that begins with conceptualizing the smallest details of products. Ambient lighting for vehicles enables users to create a personalized experience that shines a spotlight on their favorite features. Our ambient lighting profile lets customers differentiate vehicle models and trims, creating something that’s custom crafted to their individual taste. The lighting can be direct with visible lenses, or indirect cascading downward to highlight different surfaces and contours. Lenses add flare, ranging from clear, jewel-like appearance to hidden behind different light-transmissive surfaces such as chrome or woodgrain. Ambient lighting in the footwell can be incorporated in the RGB system to provide themes and color schemes. In the future, light pipes will also be able to minimize motion sickness in autonomous vehicles when used as marker lights. Whether the consumer wants to create a specific mood or a ride experience that feels more stable, lighting will be at the center of this area of car design.
Next-generation electrification: touchless trunk opening
Think back to when opening a car window required a roll crank, or moving your seat demanded to pull a lever and shoving with all your weight. Today, the essentials of the car experience are electrified and many vehicles respond to the driver’s needs as if by magic. Our Sketch-to-Scale solutions help make many of these options possible, including conveniences such as touchless trunk opening. These capacitive sensor solutions add functionality and convenience, without sacrificing style. Capacitive sensors use a driver’s or passenger’s proximity to trigger actions, like opening doors and waking up hidden active surfaces. Imagine approaching your trunk with your arms full of groceries and having it spring open via a touchless system. Our solution has multi-color, pass-through lighting, allowing users to instantly recognize when an action has been triggered. Electrification brings intuitive convenience to the smallest details of the car experience.
Wireless device charging
Imagine if you never had to worry about packing chargers or managing cords again while on the go. Today’s consumers live on their phones and tablets – and are constantly seeking ways to stay connected and fully charged. Wireless charging is revolutionizing the consumer power industry, and we're helping bring that revolution to the automotive segment with our wireless charging solutions. Whether it’s a simple wireless charger or a wireless power bank, Sketch-to-Scale solutions make it possible for automakers to create an experience where users can fully charge their devices each time they enter their car, hassle-free.
Connectivity on the move
It’s not just enough that devices are fully charged. Users also want a reliable internet connection while they’re on the go: they rely on their phones for navigation, answering emails, or streaming movies or music, among other functions. Connected cars are no longer a dream, they’re a reality. With millions of connected cars being produced over the next few years, and demand rising with the advent of autonomous vehicles, providing reliable connectivity on the move is critical. Today it’s a special feature, but tomorrow every consumer will expect this to be the standard as soon as they step into a vehicle. We've been working on in-vehicle communications for almost a decade, and bring a range of solutions to the table when supporting automotive manufacturers’ next step towards developing connected vehicles.
Infotainment and displays
As the automotive display industry continues down a path of “bigger and better” – more displays, bigger displays, more complex displays – automotive companies need a partner that can work with them and accommodate that growth. Consumers are relying on infotainment systems for navigation, interfacing with the car’s computers, accessing music and the internet, and much more. We have a proven track record of display integration and have been working with leading OEMs for years.
This holiday season – and beyond – consumers are paying more attention than ever to the experience cars can deliver. As automotive manufacturers create dynamic experiences to meet every need and desire for customization, the right partner can make any idea a reality. Bumper to bumper, our Sketch-to-Scale solutions are helping the automotive industry drive into the future.