Jaguar Develops COVID-Busting Touchscreen

Thu 23rd Jul 2020

The tech boffins at Jaguar Land Rover have developed a touchscreen that you don’t need to touch, which has reduced engagement times by 50 per cent and may have also solved a new coronavirus related problem.

JLR have worked in partnership with the University of Cambridge to devise the contactless touchscreen technology, which helps drivers keep their eyes on the road, but also reduces the spread of bacteria.

The risks of taking a drivers attention away from the road have long been one of the greatest concerns in a growing number of touchscreen infotainment systems. But JLR’s new tech, which is part of the company’s Destination Zero vision - making vehicles safer, greener and healthier - is said to reduce ‘interaction effort’ by 50 per cent.

The technology uses artificial intelligence to determine the item the user intends to select on the screen, speeding up the interaction.

Professor Simon Godsill from Cambridge University 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.”

According to JLR the AI technology can be adapted into exisiting touchscreen solutions allowing software updates to incorporate the technology.

As countries around the world exit lockdown, we notice how many everyday consumer transactions are conducted using touchscreens: railway or cinema tickets, ATMs, airport check-ins and supermarket self-service checkouts, as well as many industrial and manufacturing applications. Predictive touch technology eliminates the need to touch an interactive display and could therefore reduce the risk of spreading bacteria or viruses on surfaces.

“The technology also offers us the chance to make vehicles safer by reducing the cognitive load on drivers and increasing the amount of time they can spend focused on the road ahead. This is a key part of our Destination Zero journey." said Lee Skrypchuk, Human Machine Interface Technical Specialist at JLR.