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European auto makers leading the way on biometrics in cars, says Synaptics


According to Dr Huibert Verhoeven, VP of the automotive business at Synaptics, European car makers are leading the way in considering the implementation of touch surfaces, such as on the dashboard and on the steering wheel. He also believes that the automotive market may be more interested in touch surfaces rather than smartphone-style touch displays.

“We are seeing interest from car makers for haptic touch on the steering wheel and biometric fingerprint sensors,” said Verhoeven in a report in Electronics Weekly. “Most of the major European car OEMs have usability labs in Silicon Valley.”

“For European car makers adopting touch and bringing in new suppliers is a big deal,” Verhoeven continued. “In Europe the automotive design cycle is two years and then there is a four year product life”.

Synaptics is already suppplying display drivers to car makers for cluster displays and heads-up displays and has added touch controllers which are AEC-Q100 compliant. Verhoeven said its first design wins should be in production in the first half of 2016 in China and Taiwan.

The automotive touch controllers support touchscreens up to 17 inches and has fingerprint sensors for unlocking aimed at car door handles, steering wheels and starter buttons. According to Verhoeven, the controllers support up to ten fingers, passive stylus, face detect, low power wake gestures, gloved touch as well as working in the presence of moisture.

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