Visteon Premieres New Vehicle Concept, Demonstrating Vision for Mobility in 2020
Automotive supplier's new e-Bee concept makes its global debut at Electronica 2012 Trade Fair in Munich
MUNICH--Nov. 13, 2012: Representing Visteon Corporation's vision of mobility in the year 2020, the e-Bee vehicle concept is designed to explore new and alternative ways of using a vehicle, including car-sharing, private ownership and short-term rental. Using touch display-based controls and Cloud-centred profile storage, the e-Bee's features are designed to be immediately familiar and intuitive for each individual user.
Fully compatible with electric vehicle and hybrid platforms, the e-Bee demonstrates intelligent mobility -- gathering and disseminating useful driving-related data, acting as part of a wider mobility-enabling network and integrating technology and design that is simple, flexible and frugal.
The technologies featured in the e-Bee concept range from advanced development to application- and commercialization-ready. The vehicle will be available for demonstrations at Visteon's booth in Hall A6 throughout Electronica.
The e-Bee challenges conventional vehicle architecture by re-thinking the position of the climate system, resulting in reduced weight and a substantially increased cabin space. The integrated climate module combines the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit with the refrigerant system, including an energy-efficient heat pump. Its position outside the cabin allows for new interior design options including an easy user experience with the vehicle's electronics and comfort features, designed to mitigate distraction.
"From its driver interface to its compact and innovative climate system, the e-Bee is an exercise in efficient, forward-looking design for new mobility uses," said Tim Yerdon, Visteon's global director of innovation. "The vehicle will be showcased at customer and industry events throughout Asia, the U.S. and Europe, where it will be the centerpiece in Visteon's discussions with customers and partners about future technology trends and needs."
Defined User Experience
The e-Bee's driver interface consists of a set of three displays: a main display for journey information and two smaller screens with touch-sensing capability. The touch screens are located within easy fingertip distance on either side of the steering wheel, providing simple and immediate interaction with both vehicle controls and social connections. The car also features a projected head-down display for accessing basic driving information. In place of the traditional rear-view mirror, a display shows images from a panamorphic 180-degree rear-view camera.
Complete and Immediate Personalization
Designed to address the needs of each individual user, the e-Bee offers personalization on three levels:
- By region: Using a global base interior structure, the control architecture can be customized for each region. This allows for unique regional preferences regarding display types, storage options and perceived quality tastes.
- By individual owner: An ideal environment can be created by adding a range of 'physical apps' -- or clip-on modules -- each providing a style element and a particular function. These can include cup holders, wireless charging devices, cameras and other items.
- By individual user: A set of preferences for each user can be stored in the Cloud and retrieved when the driver enters the car. These preferences are used to define the look, colors and layout of the display-based human machine interaction (HMI), ensuring that e-Bee's interface will always be immediately intuitive and familiar for users who alternate between cars.
Improved Passenger 'Life on Board'
Each occupant has access to a door-mounted control module, allowing for control of the climate system and individual climate zones, as well as a personal headrest-mounted audio system. Audio content can be played from a BluetoothÂ® wireless technology-enabled personal device set in its own wireless charging bay in the door.
Compatible with electric and hybrid vehicles, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is focused on 'smart energy' management and a positive user experience. Features of the system include an electric compressor, pre-conditioning and a cooled shopping box in the trunk. For user comfort, there is a gentle air diffusion feature, a cluster ion generator and a fragrance auto diffusion system.
With driver priorities in mind, the cockpit space has been maximized for occupants by fundamentally re-thinking the technical elements of the interior. The EV-ready HVAC system is located in the engine compartment; the airbags are positioned in the headliner; and the driver displays and controls are supported locally by a structure of composite material, rather than a full-steel cross-car beam.
The e-Bee's interior is designed for sustainability. It incorporates recycled and bio-based resin and natural fibre hybrid materials and also uses recyclable expanded polypropylene material to reduce vehicle weight.
Additionally, the car has digital decoration (laser etching) on hard parts, in-mould decoration for the touch screens, thin film overmoulding, and demonstrates Visteon's Inskin process-- all of which provides differentiation without having to re-tool parts.