Lexus is focusing its considerable technological might on a concept car — the UX — for this month’s Paris Motor show that will usher in a new level of user experience.
As cars move from being a simple form of personal transportation to potentially being the digital hub of the connected consumer and his or her equally connected home, so too does the definition of its user experience. Its systems have to be as fun and immersive to use as the driving experience is keen.
Therefore the Lexus UX Concept is an aggressively styled crossover on the outside — one that takes the company’s current design language and projects it into the next decade — and a simple-to-use supercomputer on the inside.
“Our brief was to create a new genre of compact crossover; a vehicle that could create something unique from a customer’s point of view — an innovative, three-dimensional, fully immersive user experience,” said Stephan Rasmussen, designer at Lexus’s European Design Centre, ED2, where the car was conceived.
The interior takes the three-dimensional brief literally. Rather than speedometer and odometer, the instrument binnacle has a transparent globe and information appears in it in hologram form.
The idea is that this information appears to float. The main dashboard section is meant to look like crystal that encloses holographic representations of the air conditioning and infotainment system.
Other touches that are less futuristic and could soon be appearing on mass-market cars include electro-chromatic windows — they can go from transparent to translucent or opaque with the push of a button — and side cameras instead of external wing mirrors.
One of the more esoteric design features is a ribbed horizontal dashboard section that houses the car’s front speakers. It’s actually a detachable soundbar.
Next month, WardsAuto will hand out its inaugural Best UX Competition awards for the 10 cars with the best user interfaces and the current Lexus RX crossover will be one of the winners.
The Lexus UX Concept will be revealed in full on September 29, two days before the Paris Motor Show opens to the public.