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30 Jan

Digital Dashboard Drives Detroit Debuts

On the heels of CES, where automakers grabbed a big share of the spotlight, the North American International Auto Show in Detroit opened to the public this week (and runs through Jan. 27) with an emphasis on improved navigation and entertainment systems.

In fact, there probably couldn’t have been a better segue for the auto show than CES, where in-vehicle technology was a key trend and where eight automakers exhibited on the show floor along with more than 100 automotive tech companies. Subaru, for example, chose CES to announce its new in-cabin Starlink infotainment technology that will make its debut in the 2014 Forester.

In Detroit, several key announcements were made including those from Infiniti, Hyundai and Lexus — all revealed new and improved interfaces for upcoming models to be released.

Nissan’s Infiniti Q50, which goes on sale this summer, offers technologies like Direct Adaptive Steering, hailed as a world’s first. It allows independent control of the Q50′s tire angle and steering inputs, and transmits the driver’s intentions to the wheels faster than a mechanical system.

Ultimately, this increases the direct driving performance feel by quickly and intelligently communicating road surface feedback to the driver. Four different steering settings are offered, allowing customization by driver preference or road conditions.

Additionally, there is a fully customizable digital environment for linking driver settings and characteristics to i-Key. Infinit inTouch, the vehicle’s next-generation telematics system, features dual touchscreens (with hand-gesture screen operation), smartphone connectivity, and custom apps. Owners will also be able to update and sync personal apps with their smartphones.

Hyundai showed a concept car that sparked some controversy due to its unique exterior design, but it was all about dashboard interaction on the inside.

Hyundai, which defines its HCD-14 Genesis as a “premium sport four-door coupe,” features — what else? — an iPad dock along with cutting edge eye-tracking (courtesy of two cameras in the steering wheel) and hand-gesture recognition (raising the hand to raise the stereo’s volume) to keep the driver’s eyes on the road for the majority of time. In keeping with that theme, a windshield heads-up display (HUD) also provides minimal driving distraction.

Lexus announced that its IS model has a new state-of-the-art multimedia system that comes with a lifetime subscription to a traffic and weather data feed through the HD Radio.

Other companies also unveiled new vehicles that include HD Radio including Chevrolet, Kia and Jeep. 

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