The future of car instruments, contextually aware

In the course of our research and partnership with CDR (Car Design Research), we identified one fundamental and ubiquitous element in cars which has lacked an effective redesign over the last few decades.

The instrument cluster as a feedback element has remained fundamentally unchanged since instruments first appeared in cars. Even today with LCD clusters, such as in the Mercedes S-Class, we see the skeuomorphic recreation of these mechanical dials in digital form. There are some good reasons for this, such as consistency, familiarity, brand perception and so on but we feel this ought to be challenged.

USTWO have come up with an intelligent concept on in-car instruments, that are contextually-aware, presenting the driver a clean and clear presentation of what's important for the time.


The Hypothesis

USTWO's hypothesis is that the limited car's dash real-estate can be further improved by showing the right information at the right time

Combine this with the availability of new technology for a wired car, including the up-coming Apple CarPlay, one can can provide contextual empathy that can increase the driver's situational awareness for the driver, such as weather-related issues, school-zones.


This provides vital information to the driver whilst not cluttering her or him with information that will take the driver's eyes off the road for too long. The key, to minimize distractions. USWTWO have provided a video-explanation of their hypothesis:

Visit the original article, which is fantastically written, and comes with an e-book you can download. I find the concept fascinating and well-researched, a re-alignment of how humans anticipate visuals better than numbers as in instruments.