All-in-one automotive HMI provides new possibilities for cockpit design

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Specialist Rightware claims that its latest offering, Kanzi One, is the first and only automotive HMI toolchain to be fully compatible with Android. The package, it says, will enable auto makers to create the user interface (UI) for the advanced intelligent automotive cockpit.

“Kanzi One is a step-change for the automotive industry,” said Rightware CEO Freddie Geier. “It allows car manufacturers to design and develop their own unique signature UI with unprecedented speed and agility, ensuring each brand will stand out.”

The company states that the system lets manufacturers create user experiences for advanced HMIs in less than half the time, with teams half the size, and with significantly less coding compared with traditional methods.

The toolchain includes everything needed for modern HMI development, which includes the core Kanzi framework—Kanzi Studio and Kanzi Engine—and features packs including Kanzi Connect, Kanzi Maps, Kanzi Particles, and Kanzi Autostereoscopy. A new feature pack introduced with this release is Kanzi VR, facilitating holistic automotive user experience (UX) design.

Kanzi One also introduces deeper integration with Android for cockpits incorporating the popular infotainment operating system; and it includes an enhanced UI framework for extreme workflow efficiency. Rightware says it has completely renewed the 3D pipeline to introduce physically based high-dynamic-range (HDR) rendering.

Additionally, with expanded support for 3D formats, hundreds of thousands of third-party models are now available. With many new graphics features as well as additional cinematic effects, the architecture enables automotive HMI designers to produce rich and detailed visuals.

Rightware has also renewed the Kanzi architecture to provide full compliance with Android. This sees the introduction of native support for Java as well as seamless composition between Kanzi Studio and Android Studio. Developers can now use their tool or programming language of choice for a given task, eliminating unnecessary coding.

“Kanzi One is in a class of its own when it comes to integration with Android, critical as auto makers increasingly turn to this infotainment platform for its operating system and ecosystem,” added Rightware CTO Jussi Lehtinen. “It provides expansive freedom to create customized graphics, advanced visualizations, and a state-of-the-art UI on Android.”

As automotive software is becoming increasingly complex, Kanzi One also introduces activity functionality with improved UI state management and resource handling to streamline development. This means large HMI projects can be split into many small, manageable UI parts, allowing larger teams to collaborate effectively.

“With the activity system, UI parts are easily virtualized, reducing memory usage, CPU load, and overall loading times in the system,” Lehtinen noted. “And all of this is automated by default, reducing development time while delivering a performance boost.”

The addition of the Kanzi VR feature pack makes it possible to test and validate designs in an early phase, even without access to physical displays or a dashboard model. Live UIs built with Kanzi can be placed inside a virtual car interior, either in the Kanzi VR viewer or any third-party VR environment.

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After spending six years working as a mechanic for various motorsport and high-end performance car companies, Callum joined UKi Media & Events in February 2020 as an assistant editor. In this role he uses his vast practical knowledge and passion for automotive to produce informative news pieces for multiple vehicle-related sectors.

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