JLR Promises In-Cabin Revolution Using Wearables Tech

Lightweight technology pioneered by the connected wearable market will be used to transform in-cabin infotainment experiences, says Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

It also claims the technology so far trialed has cut infotainment system weight by up to 60% by removing traditional ECU and printing circuits directly onto part system component. This could allow allow dashboards to be replaced by curved screens and let drivers customize interiors thanks to color-changing body panels.

JLR is claiming a world-first in developing its Lightweight Electronics in Simplified Architecture (LESA), currently employed in flexible wearables and curved OLED TVs, for car interiors. It says the technology will enable it to manufacture body panel displays to show information only when needed and help designers achieve streamlined and buttonless designs for future cars. Such designs may include, customizable interior ambient lighting systems, body controls, wraparound button-less dashboards and advanced fabric/leather heated steering wheels.

Features could include the ability of making digital displays appear on surfaces like wood without the need for a screen. It also makes adding solar panels to the vehicle possible without adding extra system weight to car.

The system uses computer animated drawings (CAD) to virtually “unfold” a part into its 2D structure. The required electronic circuit, ordinarily wired into a traditional ECU, is then printed onto the flat surface and components are mounted, before the CAD is folded back into its original 3D. The part is then manufactured with the electronics printed into the structure.

Ashutosh Tomar, JLR electrical research technical manager, said: “Healthcare, aerospace, consumer technology and military industries are already harnessing the benefits of structural electronics and our research is leading the way in the automotive sector by bringing it into the cabin for the first time. We believe LESA represents the future of vehicle electronics and will enable us to design and manufacture innovative, flexible and customizable cabins for our customers while also reducing weight and cost during production.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *