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Ferrari advances driver-car interface

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August 29, 2009

Ferrari advances driver-car interface

Ferrari advances driver-car interface

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In the run-up to the official unveiling of the Ferrari 458 Italia at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Ferrari has released new imagery of the 458 Italia’s interior and of the steering wheel and instrument binnacle which represent a significant step forward in the concept of the ergonomic interface between driver and car.

In fact the main commands are now grouped on the steering wheel, the secondary commands are set in two satellite pods either side of the dash and there are now comprehensive instrument displays on the panel ahead of the driver. These solutions represent an important safety aspect, enabling the driver to concentrate fully on driving. Similarly this layout ensures maximum control of the car in high performance driving, an uncompromising approach that derives directly from Ferrari’s F1 experience.

Working closely with the Ferrari Styling Centre, the engineers have thus reinterpreted the positioning of the major commands to provide a truly driver-oriented cockpit. All steering-column mounted stalks have been eliminated, with the indicators, full beam, flash and windscreen wiper functions now being activated by buttons on the steering wheel boss. The button to select the shock absorber setting is now positioned next to the ‘Engine start’ button where it falls readily to hand. Behind the wheel are a number of secondary functions, such as the stereo, while the gearbox paddles are now longer making shifts even easier from any steering angle.

The right-hand satellite pod on the dash incorporates controls for the infotainment, the Bluetooth connection, sat-nav, digital speedo and rear parking camera. Clustered on the left-hand satellite pod instead are the optional cruise control, buttons for choosing the video setting of the left-hand dash TFT screen and the on-board computer interface. The latter controls the trip computer, the Vehicle Dynamic Assistance and the display of the car’s set-up.

The Vehicle Dynamic Assistance monitors the operating parameters of the most important areas of the car - engine/gearbox, tyres and brakes. The VDA is enabled in the following manettino settings – Race, CT off and CST off – and provides visual confirmation of the status of each component based on an algorithm from parameters reading lateral and longitudinal acceleration, revs and speed. This enables the driver to assess the ideal operating conditions for the car. There are three status settings: WARM-UP (operating temperature too low), GO (ideal operating conditions) and OVER (one or more components are no longer at their optimum level and need cooling).

About the Author
Mike Hanlon After Editing or Managing over 50 print publications primarily in the role of a Magazine Doctor, Mike embraced the internet full-time in 1995 and became a "start-up all-rounder" – quite a few start-ups later, he founded Gizmag in 2002. Now he can write again.   All articles by Mike Hanlon
4 Comments

Funny - the basic form looks like my 9.5 year old Honda S2000's dash.

Bill Adkins
31st August, 2009 @ 09:03 am PDT

all this technology is awesome stuff,,,,,,,,, but does it help the average driver improve his driving or just complicate matters ?

robinyatesuk2003
31st August, 2009 @ 09:11 am PDT

Techno art..

Kim Elleman
31st August, 2009 @ 10:52 am PDT

oh boy, now I can use all that horsepower and "attend" to more pressing needs than controlling it while taking my eyes off the road for that fraction of a second....

Translation: I can go faster over the posted speed limit safely..

Never faster than a speeding radar cops radio intercept.

Sensible countries tax the hell out of excessive autos. Testosterone addicted ones can't wait to get their hands on them.

waltinseattle
1st September, 2009 @ 12:29 pm PDT
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