Mitsubishi Motors may be a little behind on releasing new vehicle models – its newest sedan is a rebadged Renault Clio hybrid – but when it comes to technology, Mitsubishi Motors Corp (MMC) has a subsidiary known for designing and developing new and cool stuff. Its newest piece of tech is the Inca Jay digital cockpit, developed by Filament Labs, the newly formed Advanced Engineering arm of Mitsubishi Electric. Before the automaker works towards futuristic cars, they want to push the boundaries of their current tech, and this new cockpit could change it all. During the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show, Mitsubishi Electric showed us some of the stuff it’s working on to make the world a little more digital with robotics and new infrastructure, but this cockpit is something else entirely.
With automotive cockpits becoming more digital, features like digital cluster displays and large infotainment screens or touchscreen displays spanning across the entire dashboard. The touchscreen of the Inca Jay cockpit may not be as large, but the smart system operating the car increases the functionality of the infotainment system and other convenient features, starting with voice command. Sure, voice command operations are nothing new, but they used to be basically one-word commands. With Smart Speakers like Amazon Alexa and Google Home growing in popularity, such devices are evolving to accept more complex commands, such as, “Set an alarm for X time to music by Y on device Z.”
Able to be programmed for multiple users, the Inca Jay can be completely customizable for each user, setting up a profile that has been tailored for them. In the demo video, we can see a variety of people driving or acting as a passenger of the car, and the system can instantly recognize the owner or someone who is driving and already has a profile as well as recognize new users. Simultaneously, for drivers with friends who like to DJ, the touchscreen can rotate, making it easier for the passenger to move and operate the touchscreen. Moreover, for those of us who love car karaoke, at any time the driver or passenger can ask the infotainment screen to show the lyrics to the song being played, making it easier to sing along alone or with friends.
Getting around town is even easier with digital navigation in real-time. Maps can be helpful, but seeing a digital representation of the road can be pretty helpful, and Inca Jay makes this possible with a new custom version of the Tom Tom navigation system that uses an augmented reality engine called PHIAR, able to give drivers real-time road analysis, point out places of interest, and help drivers stay in lane or on the proper route to their destination. What’s even more convenient is the ability to find and pay for parking spaces from within the car. No need to download and sign up for yet another public parking app – with Inca Jay, drivers can find an available parking space, view the rates for each, choose the duration of the parking space, pay, and get a digital receipt.
For those in the ride-hailing business, this next feature is amazingly cool. Whether the driver or passenger, sometimes it can be tough to have a conversation, give directions, or communicate the desired destination. With a microphone in the Inca Jay cockpit, the system can do more than just listen to voice commands.
When activated for a conversation, the system can detect the different languages being spoken. The driver can speak in whatever language they’re comfortable with, and the system will translate it in real-time and then replay it in the other language spoken to the passenger. This also works the other way around. The system will detect the language of the passenger and then translate and play it back to the driver in their default language. Bye bye, language barrier.
At this point, it should be pretty clear that the Inca Jay cockpit is smarter than the average infotainment system. A futuristic advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), Inca Jay also helps to improve the safety of the driver and passengers. This starts with a driver monitoring system (DMS) that can monitor the driver and passengers faces with a sensitive near-infrared, driver-facing camera. Able to detect driver drowsiness or sudden sickness based on facial expressions, monitoring pulse and respiration rates, and face-tracking and image-processing technologies so sensitive it can detect slight variations in skin tone due to changes in heartbeat.
The system can also detect the presence of other occupants and go as far as to suggest the driver stop or activate an automated emergency-parking function if the driver’s abilities seem compromised. Basically, the DMS makes sure the driver is capable of operating the vehicle and in the right state of mind for driving at any time. Even when the driver is doing well and just needs a little extra help, the Inca Jay’s high-definition locator (HDL) implements internal and external sensors to change the curve and slope of the headlights based on the road, surroundings, and where the driver is looking.
They’re calling it a futuristic cockpit, and based on the demo above, it sure seems like it. You can learn more and stay informed on upcoming technology by Mitsubishi when you follow us on Miami Lakes Automall social media.