Momentum - November 2020 - 17

TODAY'S ENGINEERING

CABIN INTERIORS WILL CONTINUE TO TRANSFORM in the
coming years, largely driven by the advanced UI/UX (user
interface/user experience) development taking place in
companies' innovation centers, said David Wilkie, director of
the CNH Industrial Design Center, speaking at a 2020 SAE
COMVEC Digital Summit session on design's role in product
development. He believes a designer's job is to foster a "human
connection" between the machine and the operator that
includes a focus on ergonomics and the details that make for a
"more pleasurable" operating environment.
"There's a huge push towards improving the cabin,
improving the way of life for the operator and really making
things easy to use and a pleasure to use," Wilkie said. "To do
this, you don't just need a designer or a stylist, what you need
is a team-an engineering team that works with us, you need
ergonomics, and you need the UX/UI team because it's the
complete package."
Wilkie presented several recent futuristic-looking concept
vehicles by CNH brands that span the agricultural,
construction, and commercial vehicle segments. A hybridelectric tractor concept from Steyr and powertrain partner FPT
Industrial revealed in late 2019, the Steyr Konzept, won a 2020
MUSE Design Award for Concept Design. This "future vision for
agricultural machinery" features a minimalist design for the cab
but maximizes advanced human-machine interface (HMI)
technology.
For example, key operating parameters are projected onto a
head-up display (HUD) to provide at-a-glance information,
enhancing operator visibility and minimizing distractions. An
integrated display on the right-hand window allows operators
to perform farm-management "office" activities, and precision
farming is supported by a drone that transmits real-time data
back to the cab so parameters can be modified based on actual
field conditions.
Despite the sleek designs and high-tech features, the CNH
concepts still retain traditional HMI elements, such as a steering
wheel. Why remain so operator-focused? "I believe that the
cab is still with us for a while," Wilkie said. "Full autonomous is
actually easier for the designer. I think we should be looking at
both."
Providing an automotive aftermarket perspective on
consumer electronics, Chris Cook, president of the Mobile
Electronics Association, stressed that nothing should break the
10-2-30 rule to ensure safe operation - meaning no more than
10 two-second glances in a 30-second period. This rule should
apply whether designing for the aftermarket or for original
equipment, he said.
Working against this goal is a lack of HMI standardization,
Cook said, noting that drivers must acclimate to varied
interfaces as they operate different vehicles. "HMIs from

MOMENTUM

Nikola

UX DESIGNERS AND "ENGINEERING CHEFS"
COOK UP UNIQUE USER INTERFACES

The interior of the battery-electric Nikola Tre semi-truck features fully
digital displays, a 21-inch touchscreen, and full camera monitor system,
along with sustainable materials.
various automakers, as we've seen from the aftermarket side,
become very complicated and almost immediately after they're
delivered become outdated," he said. Some manufacturers
have begun to integrate functionality that allows certain
software updates, but "it's still not to a point where over the
life cycle of the vehicle that those technologies can be
updated."
Chris Brockbank, VP of technology and strategy at Ricardo
North America, agreed. "As a young engineer, I was responsible
for cruise control. Even today, every cruise control - a safetycritical system, something that can accelerate the vehicle - it's
different in every vehicle. It's amazing that happens," he said.
A unique, "service-oriented" software platform architecture
is required, Brockbank added. Engineers need to ensure that
hardware is designed to have enough memory and the
software platform architected properly to enable over-the-air
(OTA) updates throughout the vehicle's life, he said. HMI
standards should be guidelines and offer boundaries rather
than be a strict mandate, according to Brockbank. "We can't
dictate because that's going to dampen creativity. I don't know
what my team and I are going to be doing in a few years' time,
and I love that."
"For the aftermarket, it's all about the user experience,"
Cook emphasized. "I hope this becomes an open discussion to
talk about that user experience and how we can meet that
challenge working together, both OEM and aftermarket." n
By Ryan Gehm, editor-in-chief of SAE's Truck and Off-Highway
Engineering magazine.

November 2020 17



Momentum - November 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Momentum - November 2020

Momentum - November 2020
Questioning the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” cliche
BENEFITS U
Michigan Baja Racing goes 4WD
A testimony to experiential learning
One-on-One Liam MacGillivray
Talking chassis
BRIEFS
2021 ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first U.S.-market dedicated EV
UX designers and “engineering chefs” cook up unique user interfaces
SAE 101: student engagement
Be an optimist and an opportunist
Dossier: Madeline Corrigan of Northwestern University
Momentum - November 2020 - Momentum - November 2020
Momentum - November 2020 - Cover2
Momentum - November 2020 - 1
Momentum - November 2020 - Questioning the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” cliche
Momentum - November 2020 - BENEFITS U
Momentum - November 2020 - Michigan Baja Racing goes 4WD
Momentum - November 2020 - 5
Momentum - November 2020 - 6
Momentum - November 2020 - A testimony to experiential learning
Momentum - November 2020 - 8
Momentum - November 2020 - 9
Momentum - November 2020 - One-on-One Liam MacGillivray
Momentum - November 2020 - 11
Momentum - November 2020 - Talking chassis
Momentum - November 2020 - 13
Momentum - November 2020 - 14
Momentum - November 2020 - BRIEFS
Momentum - November 2020 - 2021 ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first U.S.-market dedicated EV
Momentum - November 2020 - UX designers and “engineering chefs” cook up unique user interfaces
Momentum - November 2020 - SAE 101: student engagement
Momentum - November 2020 - Be an optimist and an opportunist
Momentum - November 2020 - Dossier: Madeline Corrigan of Northwestern University
Momentum - November 2020 - Cover3
Momentum - November 2020 - Cover4
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