[CEATEC 2013] Sure, smartphones, phablets and tablets might be all the rage, but this does not mean that there are no other avenues for smart devices. No sir, vehicles have become smarter these days, too, and it does seem as though the ceiling has yet to be reached. Far from it, and at Pioneer’s booth, you have a driver’s cockpit that certainly looks extremely futuristic, although I do not think that the final product should feature so much plastic. Imagine parking this under an intense summer afternoon, or out in the desert. Still, what looks like a cockpit from a starship rather than a car certainly has a story to tell, and tell it we will. Pioneer’s smart car cockpit concept will come with a plethora of sensors as well as works in tandem with your smartphone for a more complete driving experience, which we will talk about later after the jump.
Basically, when you first sit in the cockpit, you will find some biometric sensors getting your vital readings as well as perform a facial recognition test to know that you are an authorized driver before it actually allows you to turn on the engine by pressing a button. Basically, if you are not on the authorized persons list, you can’t drive off with this sweet ride.
After starting the engine, the monitor at the back of the car seat will show off your vital statistics such as heart rate, although it remains to be seen whether such information will eventually be sent back to some company to monitor the driver, or simply to let the backseat drivers tell you that you should remain calm and cool in the face of a traffic jam as your heart rate has just jumped threefold.
There is a tray located to the right side of the driver (meaning this is a left hand drive, obviously) for you to place your smartphone. This tray supports wireless charging capability, so you need not worry about your handset running out of juice while it is “talking” to the car using NFC presumably. You can pull apps from the phone including navigation, music playback, the works, and controlling the phone’s menu when it is connected to the car is done via gesture controls – meaning, you need not touch the handset’s display at all, but use waves of your hand and you’re good to go.
Once you have arrived at your destination, if you get out of your car while forgetting your phone, it will beep out a warning. After all, no one wants to return to a car with a smashed windshield, do they? If they ever make a ride in this setup, I hope there are some leather options instead of plastic, and your date would not be too comfortable in there if it seats more than one, because chances are the other passenger(s) will be seating behind as the front part is taken up by all of the sensors and tray. Hopefully the wonders of miniaturization will run its course for it to seat two up front.