Design + HMI

Most humane automotive technology
HMI-based design reads your mind

wheel sketch

Leonardo da Vinci showed the golden proportion through his master piece “Vitruvian Man”, which showed the geometrically perfect circle and the human body in it. Architect Le Corbusier further developed this and made “The Modulor”, which became the basis of all architecture space measurements to suit the humane scale.

Such attempts for developing a space where humans can feel comfortable and stable had started centuries ago, and the initiative is still underway. Human Machine Interface (HMI), which is defined as the interaction between humans and machine, is rooted from such initiative.

See, hear, talk and touch: the way we communicate with cars

interior sketch

The ergonomically designed “HMI” is a system that supports the driver to interact with the vehicle in the most effective and efficient manner. It is a critical area, which goes beyond the cutting edge technology. HMI is about the cars’s interior design in general, and involves analyzing the driver’s regular behavioral patterns to decide upon the location of various buttons. In other words, HMI is about creating an environment where the driver need only concentrate on driving. It is considered as the most essential element of global auto brands. Hyundai Motor Company’s HMI primarily focuses on safety that reduces eyesight diversion; intuition that helps the driver to operate as he/she wants; and simplicity that provides only the necessary information.

Collaboration between design and technology to spot the optimal point of aesthetics and functionality

The part that is relevant to design in HMI is the display and control switches; the important part is to nicely visualize and locate the buttons where it is easily accessible during driving, while making it harmonious with the overall style concept. For instance, if each button has a function associated with it, one touch would make that function happen, but there will be too many buttons. As a result, the interior design of Hyundai Motor, which pursues a widened layout, would find it difficult to give the simple and sophisticated look when there are too many buttons.

So, it is important to find out the point where design and engineering would cross each other by realizing all the functions perfectly with a limited number of buttons. That is because Hyundai Motor is oriented towards the HMI design where beauty and ergonomics harmonize with one another. When a driver sits in the Hyundai Motor’s car, numerous devices are ready to interact with the driver in the easiest and the most comfortable manner.


“Touch” button that is simple and usable

A car is no longer just a means for transportation; rather, it is a moving smart device. That is why a car needs to be designed in a way that it does not disturb driving, is easy to operate, and is easy to understand its functions. Center Fascia, which induces the functions necessary for driving through the driver’s direct operation, is where the interaction between the driver and car occurs. In the past, a consistent alignment of logic-type button was adopted for the Center Fascia. Hyundai Motor was no different; there were 12 buttons aligned for AVN (audio, video and navigation). But, now, the number of buttons has been reduced to 8 by grouping similar function and removing unnecessary functions. This was possible through a sense of empathy and cool collaboration between the designers and engineers.


Intuitive cluster

The cluster, which provides information on the speed, engine rotation, fuel capacity and coolant during driving, should be intuitive, because the drivers need to get the right and necessary information while not being distracted during driving. Hyundai Motor’s cluster pursues a simple design so that the driver’s sight is not diverted and uses the colors that can catch attention so that the necessary information is directly seen by the driver.

main dash

Openness for safety

These days, the interior display of a car is large and protruding. If the display is located too low, there will be too much eye movement that may disturb one’s sight. In addition, with the driver’s shoulders at the middle, the front, side and back field of vision should be wide enough for the driver to have a room for sight. So, the size of the window, the shape of the seat and the shape and location of a pillar are designed by taking into consideration the drivers’ eye sight. Not only that, Hyundai Motor is making various attempts in the concept car area where it incorporates technology that would remove the side mirror and replace it with a camera in order to give the drive a wider view.


Unlimited growth potential leveraging five senses

With the development of automotive technology, a new concept of interface is emerging in HMI such as voice recognition, motion recognition and touch technology. There is ample room for growth in HMI by leveraging the five senses of man; these include visual change using graphics; hearing change leveraging voice recognition; and tactile change through touch. In fact, at the recent CES, there was a convergence of IT technology where the automotive app was enhanced with real-time information smart watch-equipped smart car, which promises a bright future.

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