Car manufacturing and design processes changed significantly through the years. Priorities change together with our lifestyle, which inevitably influences car design trends. One of the major revolutions interior of cars have seen lately is the addition of the screen. Spanish car manufacturer SEAT says that nowadays screen is designed first and then everything around it.
Screen in the car is essential nowadays. It is how our cars communicate with us and how we control majority of its functions. It primary function used to be GPS navigation, but now it is just one of many and screens themselves have evolved hugely in the last decade. SEAT calls it revolution of the screens, because now they come first. Not so long ago designers at first worked on the interior and then looked for a comfortable place to put the screen, but now they became central point of the process.
In fact, more people are working on the design of the screen than on the exterior of the car. This is a difficult concept to grasp, since image of the vehicle still depends highly on the looks. SEAT says it happened because of the increasing impact of connectivity in the car industry. There are 30 people in the company working on the design of the screens – some of them are responsible for the development of interface, others deal with the apps just like on any other connectivity device. There is also a third group of specialists, who work on animations, simulation and how they are displayed on the screen.
In total, it takes a year and a half to develop a new screen. More than a thousand various sketches have to be created as well as position of the screen in the car. In SEAT all screens are at the eye level and are angled towards the driver for maximum convenience. Interestingly, for a new screen, installed in the latest SEAT Leon model, 3,000 icons and pictograms were designed, which shows how much work and thought goes into that. Jaume Sala, the head of Interior Design at SEAT, said: “a simple radio that was removable to a full-fledged computer installed in the car”, because that is what nowadays customers are looking for in their vehicle.
These days we are never further than a meter away from a screen. It is interesting to see how smart devices revolutionized the process of car design and makes one wonder – what will come next?