Autocar teams up with Jaguar to design the dashboards of the future
28 September 2010

Autocar has teamed up with Jaguar to design the dashboard of the future. Making use of the new XJ’s TFT screen technology, the concepts reveal how the dashboard will evolve in the next decade. From retro plug-ins to track day specials, the display of information will be revolutionised.

The ‘black hole’ dashboard was one of the most striking features of the XJ when it was launched. Following Land Rover’s lead, Jag’s designers had ditched ‘real’ dials in favour of a virtual, computer screen display. The graphics it showed were relatively conventional, but it did get us thinking. Could we not reprogram the dash in the same way that we personalise our smart phones?

See exclusive pics of the Autocar/Jaguar dashboards

A trip to Jaguar’s design studio at Whitley revealed we were not alone with our thoughts. Mark Humphries is the Experience Design Manager and was responsible for developing the XJ’s dashboard technology. “The decision to create a virtual dashboard was taken very early in the development process,” he says. “We looked at lots of different influences. We’re all used to iPhone apps but we also spent a day with the Eurofighter team. Their ‘glass cockpit’ filters the information to reveal only what the pilot needs at that moment.”

This inspiration is reflected in all our concepts, which are clutter-free. Touring mode re-interprets a traditional analogue design theme with graphics that mimic authentic luxury materials. The ‘Jaguar butler’ facility uses artificial intelligence to combine data from the outside world, such as your diary entries, with the car’s key functions.

Audi: "The future is apps"

Track mode is inspired by the gaming world, and mixes circuit and vehicle data. There’s even an option to upload your lap straight to YouTube. Heritage mode mimics the Smiths Instruments’ dials found in the E-type. Even the toggle switches are animated, even though they’re controlled by a thoroughly modern touchscreen. The most futuristic of our designs is Stealth Mode, which apes the Eurofighter by providing only the information you need, when you need it.

“There are some legislative hurdles to be overcome,” says Humphries, “such as the need to show warning lights when you start the car. And the physicality of the viewing area hasn’t changed because it’s still defined by the steering wheel and the driver’s position, but beyond that there’s huge scope for invention.”

Read Autocar's road test of the new Jaguar XJ

The current generation XJ does not allow software updates of this nature, but Humphries admits it would be “hard not to” imagine the technology being introduced in the next few years. With other manufacturers certain to follow Jaguar Land Rover’s lead, we could be about to witness a new explosion in the ‘app’ economy.

Alistair Weaver

See all the latest Jaguar XJ reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
13

28 September 2010

Hmm, I prefer the Mk2 1960's style

28 September 2010

Very clever, but I hope it can only be reset when in Neutral with handbrake on!! Another distraction for idiots otherwise!!

To live is to drive

28 September 2010

No sign of km and km/h anywhere. Obviously not that far in to the future.

28 September 2010

Jaguar, these gizmos's really are quite unnecessary, and usually tastelessly presented. A few gauges with needles and a some warning lights are all I need in a car. Yes, I have an iphone and have been using PC's for 20 odd years, so I am not IT illiterate, but I am usually too busy watching where I am going in my car to be reading an intricately designed and distracting display. And as for the ridiculous title 'jaguar butler', please remember we are living in 2010, not 1910.

28 September 2010

[quote bentleyboy]

Very clever, but I hope it can only be reset when in Neutral with handbrake on!! Another distraction for idiots otherwise!!

[/quote]

Good point; otherwise the temptation to play with the different 'skins' might be too strong, not only for idiots. Especially in boring city traffic.

28 September 2010

[quote trocadero]

Hmm, I prefer the Mk2 1960's style

[/quote]

Me too.

Obviously this dash could mimic a 60's Jaguar dash , but

"Could we not reprogram the dash in the same way that we personalise our smart phones" [Quote]

We dump our phones every couple of years - a dash must last 20+ years.

28 September 2010

All the dials and guages in my 47 year old MKX still work. Will these last the life of a car? Afterall some Jags have a very long life. And they still dont look as good as an old fashioned dash. somethings are just timeless

28 September 2010

I get why this is the future, an LCD panel will be way cheaper and more generic than real dials. I think this is a mistake though for Jag and in my opinion LCD screens look very "Halfords" whichever car they are in. They will be the future in lightweight sports cars and all mass produced cars due to their low price but in the same way digital watches looked like the future for 5 minutes until people realised they were the cheap option I think digital dials will go the same way.

28 September 2010

[quote artill]All the dials and guages in my 47 year old MKX still work. Will these last the life of a car?[/quote]

Delighted to hear about your MKX. I always had a soft spot for the old whale. Must be getting quite hard to thread it through the "traffic calming measures" councils keep coming up with. 47 years, let's see, would that make it a 3.8?

28 September 2010

Forget dials, HUD is the way to go. Anyone who's ever owned a car with a head-up display will know what I mean. Why Jag and Autocar think a complex dash display that looks pretty hard to assimilate at a glance is the way forward beats me. Take a leaf out of Gran Turmismo's book and put the info on the (wind)screen!

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK
  • Volvo V90
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The Volvo V90 is a big estate ploughing its own furrow. We’re about to see if it is refreshing or misguided
  • Kia Stonic
    First Drive
    18 October 2017
    Handsome entrant into the bulging small crossover market has a strong engine and agile handling, but isn’t as comfortable or complete as rivals