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Jaguar Land Rover Develop Contactless Touchscreen for the Post COVID-19 World

Jaguar Land Rover announced in July 2020 that they have developed some new technology for their vehicles, in conjunction with a team from the University of Cambridge, which is designed to help drivers to keep their eyes on the road and help to reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses.

The patented technology relates to a touchscreen device, known as ‘predictive touch’, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) and sensors to predict what the user intends to do on the device, without them actually needing to touch a button. This enables access to all of the usual features you’d expect from an in-car touchscreen, such as satellite navigation, entertainment settings and temperature controls, but will offer contact-free operation.

The technology works by using AI and a variety of sensors to work out the most likely item on the menu that the user wants to select when they start to point at the screen, rather than needing to wait for an actual touch. Other information, such as the user profile (and their screen interaction history), and environmental conditions also play a part in the way the system works. This early decision-making by the system speeds up the interactions significantly.

Developed as part of Jaguar Land Rover’s Destination Zero vision (ongoing efforts to make vehicles safer and the environment cleaner and healthier), this latest technology, alongside their other existing driver and passenger wellbeing innovations, aims to offer clean and safe mobility in the wake of the 2020 global pandemic.

Testing in labs and on the road has shown that the predictive touch technology can reduce a driver’s touchscreen interaction time and effort by half, meaning that their attention can remain on the road significantly more than when using a standard touchscreen device during their journey. Without the need to actually touch the screen, the chances of bacteria or viruses being spread through using the device are also greatly reduced.

The technology is software-based, so can be easily integrated into existing touchscreens and interactive displays, as long as there is enough of the right sensory data available to support the machine learning algorithm.

Professor Simon Godsill from Cambridge University, who took a leading role in this project, said: “Touchscreens and other interactive displays are something most people use multiple times per day, but they can be difficult to use while in motion, whether that’s driving a car or changing the music on your phone while you’re running. We also know that certain pathogens can be transmitted via surfaces, so this technology could help reduce the risk for that type of transmission.”

Jaguar Land Rover vehicles currently include innovations and systems like a Driver Condition Monitor, cabin air filtration and engine noise cancelling. The predictive touch technology is seen as the next step forward.

If you would like to test drive any of Jaguar Land Rover’s latest vehicles, contact your closest Hatfields retailer to book a COVID-safe appointment.