1997-02-24

Cockpit Module Approach to Instrument Panels - A System Evolution 970441

The functional performance of the instrument panel has been changing dramatically since the late 80s, with FMVSS 208 legislation and its related impact on the addition of air bags and knee bolsters. In addition to addressing occupant safety legislation through more safety components, as well as navigation, security, comfort, informational and other systems are being added to the instrument panel as the consumers' desire for enhanced features continues. At the same time, consumers still want a product that is uncomplicated, affordable, aesthetically pleasing and - at the same time - doesn't limit valuable interior compartment space.
The early efficient integration of these components (electrical, architecture, HVAC, steering) in the design, engineering and assembly process will be the areas of requirement that will have a primary effect on IP system cost in the future.
The upcoming technology evolution must deal with both the “visible” cockpit portion of the instrument panel which the consumer sees and feels; and with the “invisible” section that houses all of the integrated componentry to allow for the added features demanded by the marketplace. It must also be fully adaptable and comply with any additional government legislation and regulation.
This paper discussed the evolution of the IP systems approach since the late 1980s, as a means of looking at what the future may hold for instrument panels after the year 2000.

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