It’s amazing that cars are still being released today featuring CD players, a technology that’s over 30 years old, despite the fact that since then we’ve taken computers that weighed several tonnes and were owned by universities and governments only and put them into our pockets, with more computational power than NASA had just a few decades ago. Fortunately however, the ball is finally starting to drop with auto manufacturers and they’ve realised it’s time we looked to the future for infotainment. Sure we’ve seen some companies add bluetooth connectivity and the odd, small form factor display, but the real advancements are just around the corner: heads up displays, digital assistants, cloud connectivity, these are the things we’ve looking forward to.
So what does the new Jaguar XE model have to whet our appetite with?
Set to be unveiled on the 8th September, the new Jaguar XE baby saloon is coming equipped with a brand new infotainment system, which will feature an eight inch dashboard mounted touchscreen display, with voice controls and the ability to access apps on your Android or iOS smartphone through it. Jaguar has its own app for the car too, which allows phone users to control certain aspects of the vehicle, like the door locks, climate control and ignition, whether you’re inside the car or in your house. That means you can get it all warm and toasty from a distance without having to necessarily start the engine.
However if you are in the car and have a decent 3g or 4g connection, you can have the car itself function as a WiFi hotspot for mobile and tablet users to take advantage of. This means streaming content on the go should be easier, as well as transferring files wirelessly between devices.
“In-car technologies in this ever-more connected and fast-paced world are an integral part of your driving experience,” said Dr Mike Bell, Jaguar’s Global Connected Car Director (via AutoExpress). “With the all-new XE we’re introducing an entire suite of cutting-edge driver aids and entertainment systems. Designed and developed from scratch, they will ensure that every journey you take is simpler, more relaxing, safer, and effortlessly enjoyable.”
However that’s all well and good for the passengers to play around with, but what about while your’e actually driving? This is where the technology gets interesting, as Jaguar has also added a new set of driver assist systems to the XE, including a laser controlled heads up display, which can allow for the projection of information onto the screen itself. It’s been postulated that details like speed, direction and weather warnings could be shown to the driver without them having to look down at their dials.
Navigation information can be projected onto the windscreen as well, giving more obvious instructions than those displayed on a secondary monitor. Jaguar expained that the new laser projection system is also much smaller and lighter than previous models.
This model is the first to have been designed and engineered in the UK at Jaguar’s newly built production facility at the Solihull Plant in the West Midlands.
The Jaguar XE is currently slated for release sometime early next year, with a projected price tag of £25,000 to £30,000.