Automakers are in the tough position at the same time trying to deliver the tech features that consumers are crazy. Luxury cars have the same challenge of having buyers with cutting-edge dashboard designs that are often a bellwether for trends that trickle down to less-expensive vehicles.
That's why the infotainment interface in the all-new 2018 Range Rover Velar mid-size SUV stand out-and could set an important precedent. The Velar's Touch Pro Duo interface consists of a dual 10-inch touch screen, with an infotainment of functions on the top.
Both touch use a thin capacitive polycarbonate surface and an optical bonding process that allows for a curved surface that helps eliminates the reflections and does not require a frame, creating a unique and elegant appearance.
The animation is sensibly only used with Velar's Terrain Response system, which allows dialing in different vehicle dynamics to deal with, say, snow or mud, and shows realistic video-like images of the Velar in each of those settings. The cool graphics are eye-grabbing and let you know at a glance which Terrain Response mode is you-in-but are also sensitive distracting.
A Sharp Clarity of Graphics
The first thing you notice about the bottom screen is how it seamlessly blends into the Velar's center console. It's the most beautifully designed center stacks and infotainment systems.
“It allows us to get a sharp clarity of graphics,” Gerry McGovern, Land Rover's chief design officer, told me in a recent interview, including the animation effects. “I'm always looking for improvements,” McGovern said, “and that will develop as we go on and the display gets better and better. ” But he acknowledged that the Velar's infotainment system had to be the envelope and the vehicle design team.
“In this world of information overload, I think we've got to be careful, “he said. “I had ad nauseum conversations with our infotainment.” I strongly agree, and it's certainly a giant leap from the stodgy infotainment interface designs found on Land Rovers from only a few years ago. The Duo Pro infotainment system is bound to set a new bar in terms of its design and graphics. And it could help Jaguar Land Rover as well as other automakers better balance of delivery in-dash tech features with ease of operation and without distraction-as long as the animation is kept to a minimum.