Electronics: Visteon, TT Electronics, OnSemi, Toshiba
Visteon’s Future Interior Vision
The e-Bee is Visteon’s (visteon.com) interior concept of a floating info-cloud that wirelessly charges just about any device with a battery, personalizes infotainment and vehicle data by global region, driver preferences and his/her preferred collection of apps, and even dispatches with the Luddite rearview mirror in favor of a screen that pumps in the surroundings via a 180° panoramic camera.
But even with the hive of touch screens (including one on either side of the steering wheel) and gesture-recognizing infotainment systems that make up e-Bee’s vision of a 2020 interior, the real sting might be how Visteon has reconsidered the HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system.
The climate system combines the HVAC unit with the refrigerant system and a heat pump, essentially morphing the hardware into one. This single system, including the blower, has been moved outside of the cabin to what would (in the case of a gas engine) be the lower portion of the engine compartment, below the grille. An electric compressor takes over those functions, operating independently from the drive mode for heating and AC. Theoretically, this would allow an electric vehicle to heat or cool itself while parked or charging.
The e-Bee is demonstrated on the all-electric Nissan LEAF, and although the integrated HVAC module is officially listed as an advanced study that is not production ready, Visteon says the approach will reduce weight and free up even more cockpit real estate, presumably for … more electronics.