In-Car Tech

JLR, University of Cambridge develop predictive touch sensors for touch screens

Jaguar Land Rover has worked in partnership with the University of Cambridge to develop new technology.

Photo courtesy of Jaguar Land Rover

Smudges are the bane of the touch screen's existence. New technology has emerged from a partnership between Jaguar Land Rover and the University of Cambridge that is designed to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses within a car, and, consequentially reduces the number of smudge points on touch screens.

The patented technology, known as "predictive touch", uses artificial intelligence and sensors to predict a user's intended target on the touchscreen – whether that's satellite navigation, temperature controls or entertainment settings – without touching a button.

2020 Land Rover Range Rover Velar The Land Rover Range Rover Velar Photo courtesy of Land Rover

According to a release, the tech utilizes artificial intelligence to determine the item the user intends to select on the screen early in the pointing task. Gesture tracking technology uses vision-based or radio frequency-based sensors like the kind you find in electronics you use as part of your everyday life, "to combine contextual information such as user profile, interface design and environmental conditions with data available from other sensors, such as an eye-gaze tracker, to infer the user's intent in real time."

Trials utilizing the technology showed that it could reduce a driver's touchscreen interaction effort and time by up to 50 percent, as well as limiting the spread of bacteria and viruses. The tests were conduced in a lab and on the road.

Jaguar Land Rover is championing the innovation as part of its Destination Zero vision. As part of that vision, the company is working toward a world of "zero emissions, zero accidents, and zero congestion".

The company says that the predictive touch technology can be especially useful when traveling off the beaten trail, where it may be difficult to engage a touch screen button in a timely and orderly fashion. Additionally, it is in these circumstances where drivers will most want two hands on the wheel as often as possible.

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Special edition Land Rover

Special Land Rover Defender stars in new James Bond film

The special Defender features several 007-inspired touches.

Land Rover

James Bond and British vehicles go together like bread and butter. The spy's most well-known rides come from Aston Martin, but Land Rover isn't sitting out on the action. The 25th film in the Bond series, No Time To Die, premiers in just a few weeks, and with it, a new special edition Land Rover Defender. Land Rover's SV Bespoke division created the special Defender, which in addition to making an appearance on the silver screen, will be on sale for a limited run to 300 lucky Bond fans willing to shell out the cash.


2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition The Defender gets exclusive infotainment animations.Land Rover


The villainous Defender is powered by a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 that produces 518 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard, and Land Rover says the powertrain is strong enough to push the hefty off-roader to 60 mph from a stop in just 5.1 seconds. The V8 is a recent addition to the Defender line, and comes paired here with unique suspension and transmission tuning, bespoke spring and damper rates, and a new electronic active rear differential.



2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition The 007 Defender V8 get special puddle lights.Land Rover


Unique touches to the 007 Defender include "Defender 007" treadplates, special infotainment animations, and "007" exterior puddle lamps. The interior will get a laser-etched detail plate to denote its number among the 300 vehicles. No Time To Die will feature the Defender front and center, but it's not the only Land Rover in the film. Two Range Rover Sport SVR SUVs will also make an appearance, along with a Range Rover Classic and a Land Rover Series III.


2022 Land Rover Defender V8 Bond Edition You'll need to be really into Bond to truly appreciate the special Defender.Land Rover


If you're more interested in seeing the Defender's time on screen than you are in getting behind the wheel, it hits theaters in the U.S. starting on October 8, 2021. The film will be the fifth and final movie to feature Daniel Craig as Bond. However, if you're really excited about the Defender, get ready to pay up. Prices start at $114,600 and supplies are extremely limited.

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The entire VW lineup sees new features and tech.

Volkswagen

The 2022 Volkswagen lineup will be tech-forward and will have more standard features than before. That's the message the automaker sent with its most recent announcement, which gives us a solid look at the company's 2022 catalog and the standard features that will be distributed across it.

Most new VW models feature the brand's Digital Cockpit system, which is a digital gauge cluster that can display maps, audio and entertainment features, and more. The Atlas, Atlas Cross Sport, Golf GTI, and Golf R all come with the feature.


2022 Golf R VW's Digital Cockpit is not standard on several models.Volkswagen


VW's IQ.DRIVE system is also widely standard in the automaker's catalog. The technology includes a hands-on semi-automated driving function with lane centering and capacitive feedback on the steering wheel. Volkswagen says that in town, the system can help alert drivers to upcoming obstacles or to sudden changes in traffic activity ahead. IQ.DRIVE uses front and rear radar, a front camera, and several ultrasound sensors.

Several advanced driver assist features are also included in the IQ.DRIVE system. They include forward collision warnings, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian monitoring, active blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane keep assist, and a semi-automated vehicle assistance system.


2022 Volkswagen Tiguan The Tiguan gets updated styling for the new model year.Volkswagen


Beyond tech updates for the new model year, Volkswagen has made changes to several other models' styling and powertrains. The Jetta, Jetta GLI, and Tiguan received fresh styling for the new model year, while the Arteon sedan now comes with a more powerful turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 300 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.


2022 Volkswagen Taos The Taos is brand-new for 2022.Volkswagen


Finally, a new vehicle hits the VW lineup for 2022. The Taos is a compact SUV with styling similar to that of the Atlas SUV. It also gets the Digital Cockpit system as standard kit, as well as a turbocharged 1.5-liter engine and optional all-wheel drive. The Taos starts at around $23,000 before destination.

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