Increasingly, cars are less modes of transportation and more secure and relaxed connected spaces for drivers and passengers. However, to ensure optimal in-car safety and comfort, manufacturers need multifaceted equipment that has next-generation functionality. Notably, Microchip Technologies has developed a chipset called the MGC3140 that can optimize how riders interact with their vehicle’s infotainment systems.
Microchip’s GestIC Technology
Today, many smart cars are equipped with infotainment platforms that utilize voice command interfaces and optical recognition programs. The next evolution of that technology is Microchip’s GestIC 3D tracking and gesture recognition platform. Built around the innovative MGC3140 controller chip, the framework allows users to operate their vehicle’s connected systems with their hand gestures.
GestIC technology doesn’t monitor operator input with cameras or microphones. Instead, it uses low-energy sensors and a powerful system-on-a-chip controller to capture and interpret user hand gestures into commands. The platform’s electrodes can detect human-created distortions to the system’s electrical near field (e-field). Subsequently, the MGC3140’s on-chip recognition suite interprets the user’s hand position, approach, and gestures into actionable commands.
Because it utilizes e-fields, GestIC has a much higher degree of accuracy than older infotainment interface technologies. As it doesn’t require physical interaction to function, drivers can’t accidentally hit the wrong button. Similarly, the MGC3140’s robust e-field detection isn’t affected by the presence of gloves, noise, or glare.
The Advantages of 3D Tracking and Gesture Recognition
The best thing about Microchip’s GestIC system is that its implementation could save thousands of lives.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported distracted driving cost 3,166 people their lives in 2017. Many automakers have addressed that situation by implementing various hands-free infotainment system platforms. Unfortunately, some of those solutions have made the distracted driver problem worse.
Researchers from the University of Utah found voice command systems can harm driver cognition. Due to factors like outside noise and recognition errors, voice agent systems can malfunction. Scientists found that drivers who encounter command failures experience 27 seconds of cognitive disruption. Consequently, those distracted operators have a high probability of getting into an accident.
Conversely, Microchip’s GestIC’s platform isn’t susceptible to audio interference. Manufacturers can use the MGC3140 and its sensors to create interfaces that will make vehicle cockpits much less stressful. Using it, drivers can quickly and easily acknowledge road alerts, answer calls, and adjust their music players.
In addition, GestIC tech lets passengers browse social media, reply to emails, and queue up streaming video playlists with a flick of their fingers. As the NHTSA identified operator-passenger conversations as a leading cause of distracted, multifaceted infotainment systems can reduce that form of cognitive disruption.
Contemporary smart cars allow users to precisely chart out there routes and access all their favorite media on the go. But they have technical limitations that sometimes make them infuriating to operate. But thanks to automotive tech innovators like Microchip, today’s infotainment system frustrations can be eliminated in the next generation of connected vehicles.
To learn more about Microchip Technology’s chips and capabilities, click here.