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Visteon demonstrates future car tech

Automotive supplier Visteon showed off two concept cars at CES 2011 to demonstrate the company's dashboard and lighting concepts.

Visteon C-Beyond
The C-Beyond demonstrates cutting-edge vehicle tech from Visteon, from LED headlights to something as simple as a roller switch. James Martin/CNET

LAS VEGAS--Automotive equipment manufacturer Visteon showed up at CES 2011 with two concept cars, each showing off different aspects of the company's new technology. One car, the C-Beyond, shows what can be done with LED headlights, a digital instrument cluster, and a whole new design for climate control. The Growth Market Vehicle shows how even very inexpensive cars can incorporate modern technology.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the C-Beyond is how Visteon configured the climate control system. Instead of putting traditional vents in the dashboard, circular vents are mounted in the roof, above each seating position. These vents create a shower of warm or cool air. One energy-saving feature of the system is that, if only one person is in the car, that vent is the only one that needs to be on. There is no sense in heating or cooling the entire cabin. A side benefit of this configuration is that a large space is opened up in the center of the dashboard. In the C-Beyond, Visteon turns this into cargo space, useful for laptop bags, purses, and briefcases.

The C-Beyond also shows off Visteon's LED headlights, which can project in high and low beam, and include an adaptive function. There is also a digital instrument cluster and unique moving center console.

The Growth Market Vehicle is designed to minimize the use of the expensive components, while at the same time giving drivers modern conveniences such as USB ports and Bluetooth phone systems. The car's center panel uses a capacitive touch screen straight out of "Tron," which Visteon says can actually be cheaper to produce than a big panel full of plastic buttons.

Many of these technologies may never actually be seen in a production automobile, but some of them make a compelling argument for their use.