Jaguar Land Rover patented a new technology letting drivers operate the infotainment system without physically touching the screen.
The British marque claims to have developed a new system that can predict where the driver will touch the screen, carrying on to perform the required function automatically.
The technology has been developed by JLR In conjunction with the University of Cambridge and is called “Predictive Touch.” The system uses artificial intelligence and a gesture tracker using vision-based or radio frequency-based sensors combined with the eye-gaze tracker’s data to make an accurate prediction.
During preliminary testing, this technology saved both the time and effort needed to operate a screen by 50%, LAnd Rover claims. Still, we fail to understand how it would help save time since the driver will still have to look at the screen to determine where to levitate his finger. Furthermore, it becomes harder to position the finger with the absence of physical touch, especially while driving through rough terrain.
Moreover, the Jaguar-Land Rover also claims this technology helps with minimizing the spread of viruses and bacteria. JLR realizes the impact of “new normal” in today’s world, where social distancing and sanitation are imperative to personal safety. However, we also fail to see how it could do so. Is it supposed to prevent spreading the virus in-between the driver and the passenger that would alternatively change tracks? We guess this could only work if both occupants are wearing a mask?
With that being said, we believe this technology is valuable and should be put to use to benefit people, but it isn’t best suited for cars where it might do the opposite of reducing distractions. To that end, such screens would be more beneficial at public places such as cinema halls, public transport screens, airports, supermarkets, or ATMs, where the risk of spreading the virus is considerably higher.
While unveiling Predictive Touch, Jaguar-Land Rover released a video showing it in action while fitted to a Defender. The brand has not specified if this technology is just a study or will eventually make it to production.
Full press release here.