An intuitive touchscreen in car entertainment system.

Visteon Control Panel

The Challenge

The team at GX Design Engineers was asked by Visteon, a global supplier of innovative automotive products, to create an instrument cluster and an integrated control panel (ICP) that would seamlessly fit into their Growth Market Car. Visteon wanted to provide an alternative and intuitive entertainment system that the driver could control through light touch. As the system needed to fit exactly in an existing console the design needed to be engineered with pinpoint accuracy.

The Solution

The ICP is a touch-controlled panel which combines audio, climate and driver information functions with capacitive sensing controls to form a single harmonious design. To tackle this challenge the GX team developed a solution combining low-cost electronic capacitive switches, capable of sensing a human finger in close proximity to the plastic interface, with a back-lit display panel to illuminate the driver’s options and distinguish controls.

Having worked on the mechanics, the GX team needed to ensure that the unit would fit into the space in an existing console, also that it could sync with the car’s existing electronics. To ensure such precision the team used brass etchings and built test rigs to thoroughly test their proposed unit before building a prototype model. 

The Result

Visteon was able to take the proposed unit to their client who was won over by the production cost savings; for a fraction of the cost they could provide their customers with a high quality dashboard which could be made quickly. The new design meant that the console could now be manufactured in 3 components; an outer housing and two layers of plastic which had the capacitive switches already inlaid.