Automotive HMI design: How AI can save the identity of car brands

The ever-increasing connectivity of the modern cars Artificial Intelligence is shifting the design focus to Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) rather than the bodywork

Distinct design has always been at the heart of the car’s appeal.

Buying a car is not a rational undertaking – the emotional pull of a car brand is often a key factor in a customer’s buying decision. So, it’s natural that car manufacturers have always spent a lot of effort on creating a distinct design and user experience (UX) that separates their cars from others. And they have largely succeeded: car brands transport certain images, and they have done so for a long time. Some models have even become iconic staples of popular culture; just think of the VW Beetle as the symbol of the German “Wirtschaftswunder” of the 1950s, or the irresistible coolness of the Ford Mustang, racing through the streets of San Francisco with Steve McQueen on the steering-wheel and encapsulating the spirit and style of the 1960s.

But with the ever-increasing connectivity of the modern car, there is now more information and more functionality available than ever before, shifting the design focus to the Human Machine Interface (HMI) rather than the look of the car. Virtual assistants are now commonplace in modern cars, and their design is paramount to the driver’s identification with the machine. It’s not only how your car looks, but also how well you can interact with it.

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