nissan-885309_960_720It’s a common assumption that human machine interfaces (HMIs) are only used in industrial applications, such as monitoring/controlling factory production. While many businesses and companies use them for this reason, they are also being used in cars, trucks and sports utility vehicles. In fact, HMIs have become an increasingly popular automobile feature in recent years, with nearly every big-name automaker using the technology in some way. To learn more about the use of HMIs in the automotive industry, keep reading.

HMIs Defined

An HMI is essentially an interface through which a human operator is able to control a machine. Granted, that’s a pretty basic definition that covers a broad range of electrical devices and interfaces, but the key characteristic of an HMI is that it allows a human to control a machine (hence the name: human machine interface. When speaking of computers and similar devices, however, the term “user interface” is typically preferred.

HMIs in Automobiles

The idea of HMIs being integrated into modern-day cars and trucks isn’t a new concept by any means. For years now, automakers like Toyota, Honda and even Tesla have been experimenting with the technology, using it to introduce new features and functions to drivers. However, it wasn’t until the past few years with HMIs really picked up momentum among mainstream automakers. Today, you can find the interfaces equipped in dozens upon dozens of different make/model vehicles.

It doesn’t seem like that is a trend that will be going away anytime soon, either. Whether it’s the Geneva Auto Show, Detroit Auto Show or any other major car show, automakers are using these platforms to unveil their latest HMI technology. Analysts believe that automakers will continue to invest in HMIs, pushing their vehicles into a new level of technology for the future.

Benefits of HMIs in Automobiles

So, what benefits (if any) do HMIs offer in automobiles? HMIs are capable of performing a wide variety of tasks, one of which is the support for basic in-car controls like heating/cooling and radio. Some in-car HMIs even feature touchscreen panels with gesture control, meaning drivers or passengers can control the radio or heating/cooling by waving their hands in the appropriate direction.

HMIs are also capable of giving turn-by-turn directions, which is a huge benefit for drivers today. Of course, this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the benefits of HMIs in automobiles.