DS Automobiles creates ‘contact-free’ controls to keep drivers’ eyes on the road

Time 10 months ago

DS Automobiles will bring a new type of technology to its cars – a system aimed at reducing the amount of time drivers need to take their eyes off the road.

The tech allows drivers to ‘press’ buttons without physically interacting with any of the car’s controls.

Instead, hand gestures in the air will be used to control infotainment and navigation settings.

The feature premieres on the upcoming DS Aero Sport Lounge concept.

This setup is slightly different to other gesture control systems in that haptic feedback is projected onto the driver’s hand to replicate the feeling of ‘touching’ a button.

Soundwaves, which are produced by ultrasonic speakers and are high enough in frequency to not be audible, are used to produce this feeling.

These waves converge to create a single point of high pressure detectable by the finger and simulates touch.

Even if a finger is obscured from view, skeletal tracking generates a virtual model of hand movements, allowing the system to predict the position of a finger.

Developed alongside human-interface developer Ultraleap, the technology’s purpose is to minimize time drivers spend peering at buttons, switches and the general centre console area as to maximise the time motorists are focusing on the road ahead.

As well as aiming to make strides in terms of this new tech, DS Automobiles has announced it will meet the government’s recently revealed 2030 ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars by 2025.

It is switching to a model line-up exclusively consisting of fully electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrids (PHEV), which are also allowed on sale until 2035.

The brand has been offering an electrified option across its entire range since 2019 and claims it’s the ‘only premium multi-energy manufacturer meeting the current 95g/km CO2 average fleet emission targets set by the European Commission’.

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