British electric sports car reveals HMI future

A consortium of British automotive and technology companies has revealed an all-new electric two-seater sports car demonstrating to the world what electric vehicles of the future could look like.

AURA is a road-legal concept vehicle which features sustainable composite materials, novel battery technology, drivetrain efficiency and iconic design optimised by aerodynamics. The vehicle has been designed around a unique and cutting-edge human machine interface (HMI), to connect the driver with the vehicle and its surroundings to eradicate charge point and range fears commonly associated with electric motoring.

A 10-inch touch centre infotainment system and a 5-inch circular self-levelling display in the middle of the steering wheel are at the heart of the HMI. Using the latest Android Automotive Operating System, Spark EV’s technology has been integrated to demonstrate the next generation of HMI software and apps, including machine learning software which monitors the weather, your driving style, and the environment to provide near-perfect energy optimisation mid journey. This ensures the driver will never run out of electricity unexpectedly or wait on a charge point for longer than is necessary. 

On-board energy optimisation data from many electric vehicles on the roads today can be up to 100 per cent inaccurate as they do not analyse enough data sources outside of the vehicle (such as the weather conditions or location). This can create distrust among users of electric vehicles, with range anxiety still being a major barrier the industry needs to overcome.

The vehicle is also connected in real-time to the AURA cloud service, which enables the creation of a digital twin of the vehicle to provide the driver, should they wish, with historical telematics to analyse their driving style of regular routes to maximise range and minimise their impact on the surroundings.

Chris Tingley, CTO of the company behind the HMI system, Conjure, said there is huge potential for HMI systems to better connect the driver with the vehicle and their surroundings in the future. “Until now, many HMI programmes, software, hardware, and user experience have been developed separately. We believe our approach of developing them as one element is a major steppingstone towards vehicles of the future.”

Justin Ott, CEO and founder of the company behind the energy optimisation technology, Spark EV Technology, said “To successfully introduce electric vehicles to the masses, we need to make sure they provide drivers with the correct information on how far they can travel on a single charge and eliminate range and charge point anxiety.

“The AURA project has enabled leaders in their respective fields to work together to build a working demonstrator to showcase to the world how the industry can use technology available today to help overcome these barriers.”

AURA is part-funded by the Government’s Office of Low Emission Vehicles through the Niche Vehicle Network. The full vehicle reveal will be at the CENEX Low Carbon Vehicle Show at Millbrook on the 22nd – 23rd September.

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