Are Android based touch enabled HMI suitable for 2-wheeler and other open vehicles?

Android based touch enabled smart HMI have revolutionized the way we interact with vehicles. With their sleek touchscreens and intuitive interfaces, they have become an integral part of modern automobiles. However, there is a common myth that Android based HMI are not suitable for 2-wheeler or other open vehicles, as they would malfunction in the tough weather, dusty and rainy environment. Let's bust this myth.

While it is true that a regular HMI (e.g. a tablet), or those designed for 4-wheeler (controlled environment HMI), can not be used as is on an open vehicle. They would certainly fail under the harsh conditions of an open environment with rain, dust, direct sunlight or extreme winters making it even worse. However, a well engineered, thermally and environmentally ruggedized HMI can withstand the tough conditions of the worst of the roads and harshest of the weather. An Android-based HMI that is designed for such usage is an ideal solution for the instrument cluster and infotainment system for 2-wheeler and other open vehicles.

At Anvation Labs, we have created the perfect companion for the rider in the form of Ridot-K, a hardened, connected, and smart Android HMI that not only plays the dual role of infotainment and instrument cluster but also acts as a smart companion for the rider.

Hardening against dust 

Protection against dust is crucial for open vehicles like 2-wheeler, 3-wheeler, golf carts, etc. since excessive dust can damage their electronics easily. Therefore, it is important to provide special protection to the underlying PCBA and enclosures to make them dust and water-proof. For this reason, Ridot-K has introduced an IP66 enclosure that makes it ideal for open vehicles, ensuring that water and dust cannot penetrate the HMI. The electronic components of the HMI undergo testing to ensure reliability throughout the life cycle of the vehicle, which can be over 10 years. Despite the challenge this presents in terms of thermal management, it is a critical feature that cannot be compromised.

Reliable touch operation with gloves and under rain

Standard smartphones and car HMI typically use regular capacitive touch technology, as they are not intended to be operated with gloves or in rainy conditions. However, if you attempt to operate these devices under such conditions, you may encounter "ghost touch" issues. In contrast, open vehicle riders often wear gloves, and it's not uncommon for the HMI to get wet during rainy weather. It is impractical to remove gloves every time you need to operate the HMI, or constantly wipe the screen during rainy days. Current HMI over this problem by using resistive touch which not only is a old technology but is also sluggish. Therefore, careful engineering is required to provide a smooth touch experience to the riders even in these challenging conditions. To address this need, Ridot-K has engineered a 2-point capacitive touch screen that is specifically designed to function well in rainy weather, even when the rider is wearing gloves. With this feature, you no longer need to worry about removing your gloves or drying the screen to operate the HMI and enjoy your favorite music or to navigate your way.

Readability under direct sunlight

The latest digital instrument clusters for 2-wheeler in the market are low on brightness making it difficult to see under direct sunlight. Even the regular mobile displays or even car HMI are low brightness (< 600 nits) and generally have a reflective screen making it very difficult to read/see things under direct sunlight. When designing an Android HMI for open vehicles it is critical to have high brightness, high contrast and non-reflective screens without compromising on the clarity to ensure a smooth and enjoyable user experience. To address these issues, Ridot-K incorporates a high-end display for direct sunlight readability and tough usage. Its high brightness (1000 nits) and contrast (1000:1) enables direct sunlight readability unlike the ones in the market which keep the brightness low as managing the heat dissipation at high brightness is a tough engineering feat. In addition to the above built-in manual, time-based, and adaptive brightness and theme control provides a seamless usage experience similar to your smartphone. An anti-glare finish with high resolution (1024x600) ensures better clarity by minimizing reflection. Beware of the ones that suggest using a anti glare screen like in mobiles to reduce cost. They don't last the harsh environment and malicious kids.

Withstanding Thermal & Environmental extremes

With temperatures soaring above 50C in tropical regions during summer, the parts of a vehicle exposed to direct sunlight easily touch 70C. Touch the seats and glass of a 2W and you will know. The open parts also have to withstand cold extremes and rain. Unlike the counterpart digital instrument cluster, Android HMI dissipate more heat due to higher performance. It thus becomes extremely important to ensure full functionality across a wide range of temperature along with a water-proof design. Ridot-K is designed thermally rugged to withstand ambient temperatures from -40C to 85C there by ensuring that even in the hottest of the summers and coldest of the winters it will be there for the rider.
The HMI in an open vehicle is also prone to hard vibrations, bumps and direct impact. While in the lower cost clusters, damages were not so painful, in a high-end Android HMI it could burn a hole in your pocket. Ridot-K uses a 3mm toughened glass which is tested for rough and tough usage. No more worrying about your kid in the front tampering with the dashboard.

In addition to its rugged design, Ridot-K is a connected and smart Android HMI that can be integrated with various vehicle systems to provide a comprehensive digital cockpit. It can display a range of data from the vehicle's sensors, such as speed, engine RPM, fuel level, and much more. It also provides full screen maps & navigation, call, media playback, and other advanced infotainment features. With its Bluetooth and WiFi connectivity, Ridot-K can also connect to Android smartphones and iPhone along with other smart devices to provide seamless connectivity.

Ridot-K is an ideal solution for next-gen 2-wheeler instrument cluster, smart dashboard, and connected instrument cluster. It is also suitable for different kind of open vehicles where regular HMI can't be used e.g. golf cart dashboards, tractor dashboards, heavy vehicle dashboards etc. 

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