Kanzi in the new Ford F-150: driving a superior user experience

The launch of a new Ford F-150, the best-selling vehicle in the United States for decades, is always a hotly anticipated event. While the pandemic forced Ford to debut the all-new 2021 F-150 by video in late June, it was clearly evident how impressive this truck is. The full-size pickup stays true to its lineage as a tough, powerful workhorse, yet its luxurious interior is filled with modern technology.

Among the list of groundbreaking features introduced in the 2021 model is the F-150’s first fully-digital 12-inch instrument cluster. This new human-machine interface (HMI) was designed and developed collaboratively by cockpit electronics supplier Visteon Corporation and Ford with Kanzi.

2021 Ford F-150 Instrument Cluster

Kanzi UI is the HMI software tool used by most major automakers to design and develop HMIs including digital instrument clusters, infotainment systems, and head-up displays. Kanzi allows OEMs and their Tier 1 suppliers to speed up HMI development while using smaller design teams that have greater creative freedom as they develop ever more complex multi-display connected cockpits.

The F-150 instrument cluster benefits from seamless 2D/3D authoring in Kanzi, as the UI design elegantly combines 3D objects with more minimalistic 2D elements to deliver a natural and intuitive user experience. This can be seen as the vehicle transitions smoothly from its role as a primary interactive object in one scene to that of a supporting visual element blended with traditional gauges in another, creating a clean and consistent display for drivers.

2021 Ford F-150 Instrument Cluster

The powerful Kanzi UI framework also allows the driver to progress from a stylized round-gauge instrument panel design to a high-quality vehicle model depicting realistic environments and drive modes for different road and weather conditions.

2021 Ford F-150 Instrument Cluster

“We are proud to have Kanzi software play an integral role in the design of the breakthrough HMI for the best-selling pickup truck on the market,” said Ville Ilves, CEO of Rightware. “Our partners have proven track records of delivering new, innovative HMI platforms that help iconic brands stay at the forefront of automotive design and this is no exception.”

The F-150 is the latest in a growing list of “industry-first” vehicles with HMIs designed and developed with Kanzi. We recently collaborated with LG Electronics on new Cadillac Escalade, which features the industry’s first curved 38-inch OLED display. Kanzi also powers the new Peugeot 208, the first full digital instrument cluster with 3D holographic objects in automotive production. Also powered by Kanzi, the 2018 Ford Mustang became the first in-segment, mass-market sports car to feature a fully digital instrument cluster.

Today, Kanzi is used by more than 50 automakers to drive automotive UX innovation forward.

Photo source: Ford Motor Company