Lexus reveals new-gen infotainment screen with three physical knobs and dials
Three analogue dials! It must be a record
The way car makers design and install their infotainment screens is going to be a potential deal maker or breaker in the coming years because it is kinda hard to design a screen that's visually pleasant, while also being useful, while also not distracting the driver. Having said that, new cars need them. A, because the market requires them and B, because cars have a million features these days and you need a way to control everything.
We've seen Tesla's vertical (first) and horizontal (more recently) screens, we've seen Bentley's magnificent rotating display and we've seen Mercedes' giant 56-inch display in the EQS. And now Lexus has designed a new 14-inch interface, which is going to be, according to the company "best-in-class in user experience".
Charan Lota, VP at TMNA Connected Technologies, said the company focused on "the needs and wants of the customer" with their new multimedia system, and in order to "enable a more seamless and enjoyable experience on the road, we brought multiple groups from electrical engineering to software development and business planning together into one team with one common goal - enhancing the in-vehicle experience."
The smallest available screen measures 8 inches while the top-of-the-range one measures 14 inches. Lexus decided to retain the volume knob because they believe it is still the most intuitive and best solution. They also added that the menus aren't too deep, which means you won't get lost in a million sub-menus. The temperature control, just like the music volume, is controlled by two dials attached to the glass.
Just like most similar systems, the new interface will receive over-the-air updates to add features and, more importantly, to update the sat-nav. It has also a Siri-style virtual assistant, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
"With this new system we are jumping into the future, from larger touchscreens up to 14 inches to having a 100% cloud-navigation for more accurate and faster directions," said Basra. "We want all of our customers to experience this in-vehicle advancement, and that is why this system will eventually be offered across our vehicle line-up - regardless of screen size or model grade. This is another first in company history."
The system will gradually be made available in all Lexus models in the next years, beginning with the Lexus NX in Q4 2021.