Meet Chris: The Co-driver for Your Car
“As long as something is called a technology, it’s simply not ready for the user”, … once claimed. Although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s a good thing we have companies like German Autolabs who do their utmost best to pave the road towards more accessible and user-friendly technological advancements.
In the summer of 2018 they’ll launch the world’s first digital assistant for drivers. Patrick Weissert, CPO of German Autolabs, calls it: “a new way of interacting with your car.” Well, we like to refer to the device by its actual name: Chris. Now let’s get acquainted!
A Short Introduction
Distracted driving kills more people on the road than alcohol. That’s a fact, and one which frightens Weissert. So much so he and his team have invented an easy-to-use device that does almost everything for you while driving. “Chris is your co-driver on the road,” explains Weissert, “it can manage your phone calls, play music, send and receive messages and navigate to wherever you need to be. You can interact with your smart-phone services without actually having to press a single button on your phone. Chris does it for you. It’s all integrated within Chris’ one-touch display and voice recognition software. Eventually, Chris has the capability to make the road a safer and more interesting environment.”
A Logical Fit
To develop the user interface for Chris’ one-touch display, German Autolabs contacted Logic to find a suitable match for them to develop bug-free software for the User Interface (UI). “The UI needed to be close to flawless. Safety has always been our main priority. A driver should never feel stuck because of software mismatches. We needed simplicity. And TouchGFX was able to offer us just that. The graphical interface is clean and simple, and so far, we’ve experienced zero malfunctions.” According to Weissert, German Autolabs wouldn’t have found a partner like TouchGFX as quickly as they did, without the help of Logic. “With an innovative product like Chris, product development needs to be a speedy process. Logic was able to handle quickly, effectively and elegantly.”
After Logic helped German Autolabs with the licensing of TouchGFX’s software and set up all the necessary contracts, it was time for the most important part of the cooperation: implementing the software. “When programming a particular product, you can get caught up in your own little bubble,” continues Weissert, “it helps if you have an extra pair of eyes to look at the product critically, and offer support with the necessary software. Working together with TouchGFX and Logic has given us so much extra input for future improvements of the product.”
Self-driving Cars: Fact or Fiction
Will we have self-driving cars that obey every voice command or gesture you make in the near future? Well, it sounds like a scene from the new Star Wars film, but Weissert reckons we’re not too far from it becoming a reality. Chris is definitely a first step towards interactive smart driving. But it’ll take a while before people get used to fully-autonomous cars. “The tech-industry might be ready in ten years time, but it’ll take another fifty years before it becomes ubiquitous.” According to Weissert, there’s always a lot of resistance towards technological advancements that could have a great impact on our way of life.