Marquardt’s futuristic vehicle interior interacts with driver and the environment

Marquardt’s DemoCar 2.0 showcases the vehicle interior of tomorrow; high-quality surfaces made of fine wood and fabrics, equipped with numerous hidden functions that turn premium vehicles into mobile living rooms and capitalise on the trend towards autonomous driving.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 08 Jun 2023 Views icon3050 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp
Marquardt’s futuristic vehicle interior interacts with driver and the environment

German mechatronics manufacturer Marquardt has developed what it calls the ‘vehicle interior of tomorrow’. Marquardt’s new DemoCar 2.0 showcases high-quality surfaces made of fine wood and fabrics, equipped with numerous hidden functions that turn premium vehicles into mobile living rooms and capitalise on the trend towards autonomous driving.

The company shows in its new DemoCar 2.0 how a vehicle interacts with its occupants when autonomous driving becomes the norm in this vehicle category in five to ten years. Then, the driver must feel as safe and comfortable as at home and be able to rely on his car to have everything under control.

Car communication with the environment

“Emotional, with more character" – that is how Felix Hake, Team Leader of Product Management Innovations at Marquardt, describes the future of the vehicle cockpit.

An intelligent door, based on Marquardt's keyless Push’n’Drive 3 authorisation system via smartphone, detects the driver's intention and opens automatically only when the driver reaches out. The door also has bright matrix LEDs that illuminate the floor and signal danger to approaching cyclists. "In this way, the car communicates with the environment," explains Hake. Autonomous vehicles can use this optical warning function instead of eye contact to communicate with pedestrians at crossings.

Smart surfaces generate light and heat

In the vehicle interior, smart surfaces made of genuine wood, fabric, and synthetic leather radiate peace and security and provide a comfortable ambience. Light applications are hidden behind door surfaces, generating homogeneous heat and comfort-enhancing light.

Thanks to its expertise in mechatronic controls, the Marquardt-developed door openers and seat adjustment switches are extremely flat, only 3-4 mm thick, and have hybrid control elements that work digitally using capacitive sensors, although they still appear and feel mechanic.


Display sensor detects malfunctions

The autonomous vehicle of the future is characterised by numerous displays that occupy much of the driver's view. To guarantee safety and ease of use, it is crucial that all functions and parameters are correctly and completely displayed. Otherwise, the vehicle may need to limit or restrict certain functions. Marquardt has introduced a novel printed sensor that allows the system to identify and respond to faulty or malfunctioning displays. This technology elevates the displays to the ASIL C functional safety level.

Steering wheel with spatial effect

The glowing manufacturer logo above the airbag on the steering wheel draws attention. It's not a mechanical component, but electronic components that are injected into IMSE technology in two plastic films, lighting up the emblem with a total thickness of only 3-4 mm.

On the sides of the steering wheel, two rectangular glass stones catch the eye, containing an integrated display and creating a spatial effect. “Every time it's shown to customers, the desired wow effect is always achieved,” says Felix Hake. The two displays are controlled by rotary wheels, which Marquardt intentionally designed as a nod to the traditional mechanical control elements. The wheels' visual and tactile contrast with the displays and smart surfaces achieves the intended effect.

Green light ban signifies control

Once the vehicle is in autonomous driving mode, a green light band illuminates the steering wheel and signals that everything is under control, time to relax. The seat moves back for more legroom in the comfort position, the movable control element in the center console moves closer so that it stays within reach, and a large display like a movie screen comes into view of the driver. The driver can now watch videos or use their mobile phone, which is securely locked in the center console. All functions and entertainment features are accessible via a multi-functional rotary controller in the center console. Its "active haptic" gives the user gentle feedback on every hand movement and thus guides them intuitively through the vast menu."

Smart charging with contactless display

The charging process at the rear of the electric vehicle is just as smart as the features inside. It is done through the Interactive Charging Socket (ICS) developed by Marquardt. Light also plays a crucial role here. Micro-LEDs create a light band around the charging socket, which transmits information through different colour combinations, such as the charging status. Marquardt calls this light concept "Smart Light Line" where smart LEDs with microchips are applied to a punched grating.

This way, each LED can be individually controlled via a masterboard. The charging unit also includes a novel display where the user can enter the charging mode, touch-lessly. The display is reflected by a glass panel and displayed in the room, similar to a hologram.

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