Currently reading: Jaguar Land Rover trials contactless touchscreens
'Predictive touch' developed with Cambridge University engineering department to reduce disease transmission
2 mins read
23 July 2020

Jaguar Land Rover has developed a new contactless touchscreen to reduce the transmission of bacteria and viruses, including Covid-19.

The patented ‘predictive touch’ technology was developed with engineers at the University of Cambridge and uses sensors to predict the user’s intended target on the touchscreen, so that they don’t have to actually touch buttons and risk transmitting viruses.

JLR claims the innovation, which is part of its Destination Zero project to improve vehicle cleanness and safety, also cuts drivers’ touchscreen use time by up to 50%, reducing the time drivers look away from the road and slashing the risk of accidents.

‘Predictive touch’ works by tracking users’ movements through vision-based or radio frequency-based sensors, using information such as the interface design and an eye-gaze tracker to infer which buttons they intend to press.

Unlike other gesture-based systems, such as the one found in current Volkswagen Group models, including the new Golf, this system goes further than simple left-right and up-down swipes.

JLR tech specialist Lee Skrypchuk said: “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.”

University of Cambridge engineering professor Simon Godsill added: “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.”


Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

Read our review

Car review
Land Rover Discovery review hero front

Is this a triumph of style over substance, or is the fifth-gen Land Rover Discovery the best yet?

Back to top

According to JLR, the technology can be easily incorporated into existing touchscreens, although there's currently no indication whether it will be added to either brand's production models.


Jaguar Land Rover reveals secret autonomous Project Vector

Jaguar Land Rover targets mobility market with car subscription scheme 

Transport secretary: Covid-19 can drive green transport ‘revolution’

Join the debate


23 July 2020
I am glad they finally found out why their cars don't sell.

23 July 2020

There is something wrong with this statement.

23 July 2020

That's great I won't catch covid off the tocuhless screen, just the seats, gear lever, steering wheel, door handles, seat belt, etc etc...

23 July 2020

Is it relevant when the driver does most of the touching? It's all getting a bit "out of hand" (pardon the pun). Viral transmission from body contact only occurs when said body part is in contact with nose, eyes or mouth, you are more at risk from sitting alongside an infected person than sharing a touchscreen.

ergo, fight over the radio station then pick your nose afterwards is a recipe for disaster

23 July 2020

Surely they should also be working on contactless steering wheels? Oh and the same goes for any remaining knobs and dials. And door handles. Or include built in disposable glove dispensers. JLR are really ahead of the game here and are world leaders as we cheerfully transition to the 'new normal' way of living.

23 July 2020

desease about touchless steering wheel, seat and floor, and door handles? All this touchless screen business is already way beyond sensible. All I can do is smirk at these so called tech specialists, JLR is always at the bottom of quality ratings and the primary cause is most often software/electronics problems. I know this also from own experience. These so called tech specialists put in all these screens but cannot program for sheat, buggy and raw code. Embarassing and really low level and the bugs are never fixed.

23 July 2020

Can JLT try to make the existing software and tech work properly before they start with this superfluous nonsense. Just look at the issues people are already having with the brand new Defender - glitches galore! Just as predicted. 

23 July 2020

"also cuts drivers’ touchscreen use time by up to 50%, reducing the time drivers look away from the road and slashing the risk of accidents". How about if JLR, and indeed many other companies, reintroduced easy to reach and intuitive buttons/physical shortcuts for some functions, that might help too perhaps rather than driving around in a cabin that's now more mobile phone/games console than a car.

23 July 2020

This is another article, adding to the many over the years, regarding JLR and in-car infotainment technology whereby its seems they’re wanting to be trailblazers in this area and develop world-firsts. As an owner of a JLR product, I wish as much effort was put in to the reliability and effectiveness of their infotainment systems. And indeed their cars as a whole.


23 July 2020

Exactly Lanehogger. JLR have shown themselves as being incapable of producing reliable complex electronics (that last), so adding more layers of complexity is madness.

Also who are you preventing cross-contamination with - Yourself?.....other members of your family?

If you are that anal about it, wear gloves.....Land Rover always prided themselves on their switchgear still being usable while wearing gloves .... Oh wait !! Just chucked  that baby out with the bath water.

This is a mad idea, given the state of our roads - bouncing around wildly, whilst gesturing at a peice of plastic is clearly going to be frought with issues.....let alone driving across your country estate (real or imagined!).

Voice control is clearly the only option here if the OEM's are so welded to these bloody awful plastic 'i pads' glued to the dash -as being the  future. God knows why though, they look blooody awful, hugely expensive to replace the whole thing when only one function fails, dont work without taking eyes off the road for too long, the static in them means they always look dirty with dust sticking to them plus finger prints....and now we need another layer of complexity to make it all work?!!!!!

What was wrong with the buttons in the first place?  Seems to me this is a design fad answering a question never asked in the first place.



Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week