Ford Motor Company has announced that their Ford Fiesta will be arriving in North American showrooms in the summer of 2010. Its dynamic user interface was created by global automotive supplier Visteon Corporation with Altia HMI development and code generation tools.
The Fiesta’s red-on-black center stack displays serve as the hub for a wide array of climate and entertainment functions. Audio, SYNC, HVAC and other vehicle setting displays are accessible from a single dynamic screen. These functions are all accessible via traditional button inputs or through integrated voice recognition. The graphical content and animation of the multi-function screens were designed and implemented for Ford using the Altia HMI tool suite. Altia Design was used to create the custom graphical menu system to access the wide array of features in this unique new display. The interface shows surprising depth – featuring soft buttons, pop-ups, indicators, scrolling menus and custom graphics. Altia’s DeepScreen software was used to generate C code for the graphics to exactly produce the model created in Altia Design. This was a key factor in the HMI deployment.
The Fiesta’s advanced level of HMI is traditionally unheard of in the small car segment because high end hardware costs are prohibitive. Utilizing Altia’s DeepScreen miniGL target helped overcome this obstacle. The miniGL target is designed to watch data down to each bit and wring the most performance possible out of low-end hardware. Fiesta developers were able to deliver state-of-the-art graphics by using Altia’s miniGL target, which has very minimal embedded resource requirements like a 16-bit processor, 5K RAM footprint and no RTOS. This code is now running in the Fiesta center stack – and the resulting displays have won the hearts of auto enthusiasts in Europe and China.
Dave Marker, Senior Applications Engineer at Altia, supported the Fiesta center stack development efforts and saw first-hand the challenges that were overcome in this ambitious project. “Ford has truly pushed the boundaries with this system with the remarkable level of content and performance that has been engineered into this solution. I am proud that Altia was able to contribute to such an innovative project. I cannot wait to take a Fiesta for a drive – if only to play with the radio!”
Altia, Inc. (altia.com) is a software company that provides user interface design and development tools that can be used from concept to final product code. Altia was founded in 1991 and its customers include GM, Ford, Chrysler, Honda, Toyota, Guidant, Lockheed Martin and hundreds of other leading manufacturers. For more information about Altia, visit our website or contact Altia’s corporate headquarters.