WATCH: Nissan Ariya’s new, next-gen haptic controls


Nissan has always been at the forefront of automotive innovation. Heck, the brand has been experimenting on brain imaging and analysis to test and train Nissan Formula E drivers.

On that note, the Japanese automaker has revealed how it can help shape the future of how humans interact with their vehicles. This technology, according to Nissan, will be showcased in the electric crossover SUV — the Ariya.

Nissan revealed that during the design and development process of the Ariya, its engineers didn't just consider the ergonomics involved in reaching toward the dashboard. They also looked into creating a new look and feel for controls that drivers generally take for granted.

That said, they reinvented “cabin space, touch, and positioning.”

Ariya’s interior was intended to be an open, spacious cabin that offers a sense of calm and serenity. It’s reflected by the dashboard that emanates a modern minimalist feel. The dash is free of traditional buttons typically found on today’s crossovers. The traditional knobs, keys, and dials have been integrated into the stylish wood-grained dashboard.

With no tactile switches, Ariya’s dash operates using haptic feedback controls which function in the same way our smartphones do. The dash reacts to touch and communicates through fingertip vibrations.


“We created a clean space by blending the haptic controls with the grain of the interior's wood-grain finish. We did this in a way that didn't affect the performance of the controls, allowing us to achieve both functionality and an attractive appearance,” explained Nissan Senior Designer Hideki Tago.


He added, “By applying a wood-grain pattern to the plastic panels with a hydro-printing process, we gave them a very realistic wood-like feeling. At the same time, this allowed transparent icons to come to life when illuminated.”

Another part of the process that makes the design and development of Ariya’s haptic touch controls is the fine-tuning of the vibrations and sounds, which the engineer in charge of the Ariya's interior HMI development, Tomotaka Igarashi explained thus, "Vibration and sound are inseparable. It may seem obvious, but this challenged our team to develop a unique sound that would match the expectations of the driver while also designing it to be as pleasant as possible.”


The haptic buttons in the Nissan Ariya have been grouped into two specific areas within the cabin: one is on the dashboard and the other is on the center armrest. This allowed Nissan to have the driver as well as both the front and rear passengers experience Ariya’s new haptic technology.

Nissan also released a video showing Ariya’s next-gen haptic controls. You can check it out here.

The new haptic touch technology featured in the Nissan Ariya is just one example of how design and function have been woven into Nissan’s all-electric crossover SUV.

Nissan is already taking pre-orders for the Ariya in Japan. It is also planned to be released in Europe, North America, and China by the end of 2021.

Photos from Nissan

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