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Visteon and 3M bring 3D navigation to the dashboard

Visteon and 3M unveiled a demonstration vehicle at CES 2008, showing off many technologies, including a 3D navigation display.

Visteon 3D navigation display
The center route guidance display has a 3D effect.

The Visteon/3M demonstration vehicle, a BMW X5 fitted with numerous modifications for instrumentation, interior materials, switch gear, and lighting, was unveiled in the Visteon tent at 2008 CES. One of the more interesting features of this car is its virtual instrument cluster, using LCD displays for the speedo and tach, and a 3D center display showing route guidance. 3M provided materials to create a 3D effect, which makes graphical arrows indicating upcoming turns seem to float over the map background. The 3D effect only shows up when you are looking straight on at the display, such as in the driver position, while the passenger sees a standard flat representation. The LCD speed and tach gauges allow for easy reconfiguration in different car models.

Visteon center touch stack
Visteon's center stack uses touch technology. Visteon

Another fascinating aspect of the demonstration vehicle is its floating console with touch controls. Visteon worked with Volvo on the floating console seen in its latest cars, so it was interesting to see that design in a BMW. The stack itself only has one physical knob, with many touch controls set around it. The stack surface uses haptic technology, giving a little physical feedback when you touch one of the controls. Visteon points out that the control surface is easily manufactured as it is literally printed on the material. It also offers a very clean design. This demonstration vehicle also had charging surfaces in the glovebox, letting you set down your phone or MP3 player and have it recharge wirelessly. The center console incorporates an iPod dock and a USB port, while 3M designed ambient lighting for the interior. 3M also showed off interior materials that do an amazing job mimicking wood or metal.