Active Space integrated in XiM20; Credit: IEE; Yanfeng

IEE, a leading provider of sensor solutions in the automotive sector, headquartered in Luxembourg, has announced that it is jointly developing with Yanfeng an integrated technology vision for vehicle interiors of the future.

Together, IEE and Yanfeng, a global automotive supply leader, will be developing their interpretation of an interactive interior in an autonomous level 5 vehicle: “Active Space”.

These interiors of the future will cover a variety of different use case scenarios to cater to new forms of mobility, such as autonomous driving and car-sharing. In this regard, Yanfeng will be pursuing its Smart Cabin approach for intelligent passenger compartments, in which functional surfaces, health and wellness features and connectivity are integrated into the interior. In its Experience in Motion 2020 (XiM20) concept car, Yanfeng has shown how this technology vision might actually look in a Smart Cabin concept for fully autonomous vehicles.

Active Space aims to portray the all-encompassing experience that may be offered with sensor technology and surface integration in interiors of the future. Integrated into the rear zone of the XiM20 cabin, Active Space offers occupants a way to escape everyday life. The intuitive and interactive sensor solution is based on Yanfeng’s interior design and smart surfaces as well as IEE’s sensor technology. A near-infrared stereo camera serves as input device and captures the vehicle interior, while powerful algorithms used in conjunction with the Smart Cabin Controller control the lighting experience on the translucent textile surfaces in real-time based on the analysed movements. In this way, Active Space offers a tailored human-machine interface (HMI) solution that integrates seamlessly into interior surfaces.

In the XiM20, the smart surfaces switch between four different modes, depending on the situation. For instance, there is a blue Energy mode and a violet/orange Relax mode. When the UV surface sanitiser is activated, Active Space displays blue bubbles. In stand-by mode, the surfaces stay white. In general, Active Space can also be configured with customised designs and motorists can interact intuitively with the vehicle thanks to the combination of sensor technology and smart surfaces. In a further step, it is possible that individual operating functions for the audio or air conditioning systems, for example, might be controlled via Active Space. 

Alain Schumacher, CTO of IEE, commented: “Our customers benefit in that we can offer them everything needed for an integrated system from which various potential applications can be derived”.

Yanfeng and IEE already signed a memorandum of understanding at the IAA 2017 to combine their complementary skills and jointly develop integrated smart solutions. The partnership has already produced several successful applications. The latest result of this partnership is the Active Space technology vision, which is currently in concept status and may feature in real-life mobility solutions from 2035 onwards. In addition to the integration of Active Space into headliners, there is also potential for it to find its way into B-pillars and front seat backrests.