5 Cars with a Digital Cockpit

An example of a car with a digital dashboard

In this post, we review five cars with digital speedometers and dashboards. We look at a selection of cars where digital design and technology has been brought together to provide user experiences in the digital dashboard.

What is a digital cockpit?

A digital cockpit consists of automobile instrumentation displayed digitally. For example, instead of the traditional dashboard speedometer, it is a digital speedometer. A car digital dashboard includes digital infotainment systems and other digital screens, too. Cars with digital cockpits provide a unique user experience which we explore below. 

The cars in this post include:

1. Porsche Panamera (2017)
2. Audi A4 (2017W
3. Karma Revero (2017)
4. Lincoln Continental (2017)
5. Volkswagen T-Prime Concept GTE


Here's our list of cars with digital speedometers and dashboards:

1. Porsche Panamera (2017)

The second generation Porsche Panamera sports an instrument cluster that combines physical and digital design. The physical tachometer in the middle (influenced by the 1955 Porsche 356 “Speedster”) is surrounded by two 7” digital displays that can be configured to suit the driver’s preferences.

The Panamera also comes with Porsche Communication Management. It has a widescreen 12.3” infotainment system that is fully integrated into the dashboard surface. This provides the driver with access to a variety of apps and connected services through Porsche’s Connect platform.

The Porsche Panamera's digital dashboard

Read More:

https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/2017-porsche-panamera/ (CNET Test Drive)
http://www.porsche.com/international/models/panamera/panamera-turbo/ (Porsche.com)

 See it in Action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltVAa8kdqf4 (Teaser)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmnxVIRy7lY (In-depth test in English by Autogefühl)



2. Audi A4 (2017)

The new digital cockpit in the 2017 Audi A4 sports Audi’s fully digital instrument cluster – the Virtual Cockpit. With a variety of modes and user preferences, the display can be configured to suit any driving situation. Virtual Cockpit runs at a rock-solid 60 frames per second and combines beautiful 2D and 3D graphics.

Also found on the 2017 A4 is Audi’s MMI infotainment system. It provides convenient access to vehicle controls, media, maps and Audi’s connected car services. The MMI system is easily controllable via jog-wheel or swipe-gesture touchpad.

Audi uses Rightware Kanzi for creating the Virtual Cockpit and the Audi MMI infotainment system.

The interior and digital dashboard of the 2017 Audi A4

The Audi A4 digital dashboard

Read More:

https://www.audi-mediacenter.com/en/audi-a4-23 (Audi.com)
https://www.cnet.com/roadshow/auto/2017-audi-a4/  (Test Drive by Chris Paukert / CNET)

See it in Action:

http://www.rightware.com/how-audi-creates-digital-ux/ Interview with Matthias Halliger, architect for the digital cockpit in the Audi A4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zx7Ks4DlBfQ (Technology Test Drive by Alaatin61/YouTube)



3. Karma Revero (2017)

Karma Automotive revealed the Revero, their luxury plug-in hybrid in 2016. While the car shares design with the old Fisker Karma, it's got a bunch of tricks up its sleeve, including a drivetrain from BMW and a completely modernized digital cockpit. The car was be publicly launched in September 2016.

Behind the wheel is a digital instrument cluster with stylish graphics. In the center console sits an infotainment system which Karma describes as "intuitive" and that it "doesn't require a user manual to operate". Both screens have a unified visual feel and design.

Both screens are powered by Rightware Kanzi.

The Karma Revero infotainment system

The Karma Revero's digital dashboard

Read More:

http://www.karmaautomotive.com/revero/ (Teaser site)

See it in Action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g3H3rJ3jDqQ (First Drive by Wired)



4. Lincoln Continental (2017)

Lincoln’s 2017 update of their iconic luxury sedan is equipped with a digital instrument cluster and an infotainment system. The digital designs are consistent with the quality and look-and-feel of the luxurious interior.

Behind the wheel the driver can enjoy a configurable 12.3” digital instrument cluster, which Lincoln calls the Driver Information Center.

In the center console, the infotainment system (powered by Ford SYNC 3) provides a convenient gateway to Ford’s connected services, car settings such as HVAC controls as well as various apps.

The Lincoln Continental 2017's instrument cluster

The Lincoln Continental 2017's Infotainment System and Digital Dashboard

Read More:

https://www.lincoln.com/cars/continental/ Lincoln.com

See it in Action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ic4k6oljIJw (In-Depth Preview by Eric Max/YouTube)



5. Volkswagen T-Prime Concept GTE

With the T-Prime Concept GTE, demonstrated thus far in VW Touareg form, Volkswagen shows its approach to the premium SUV segment. In the Volkswagen digital cockpit a ”Curved Interaction Area” includes two separate user interfaces in one display landscape. Content can be moved between screens using intuitive swipe gestures.

The 12” fully digital instrument cluster which Volkswagen calls ”Active Info Display” is easy to control with the touch-sensitive controls on the steering wheel.

The 15” curved infotainment system features a tile-based design for customizing the user interface. Using drag-and-drop and touch gestures the user can resize and configure the UI elements and move them to the instrument cluster with a swipe.

The interior of the Volkswagen T-Prime concept GTE

The digital dashboard of the Volkswagen T-Prime concept GTE


What are your favorite digital cockpits? Let us know in the comments below.

See it in Action:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kF4n1lCgQh0 (Teaser)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dMEkO1SdV3c (In-depth look by Autogefühl)
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