Earlier this week we learned of several new patents awarded to GM for adaptive aerodynamic technologies that may be headed to future models of the Corvette. From that deep dive in the USPTO, we also learned of a new patent application being sought by the automaker which also may have some applications in future Corvette models as well.
The patent application from GM is titled Adaptive Instrument Cluster and again the drawings for the application show the dash of the C7 Corvette.
According to the patent document, the electronic dash displays that include the speedometer, tachometer, coolant and oil temperatures and other data on an automobile’s instrument cluster are designed to be viewable through an opening in the steering wheel. However, that data can be obscured up to 50% as the driver turns the steering wheel.
An Adaptive Instrument Cluster is designed so that key information from the instruments are repositioned on the electronic display as the driver turns the steering wheel, thereby keeping some the data from the dash viewable within the steering wheel’s opening.
The patent application says that during normal driving, the turning of the steering wheel can briefly obscure the instrument cluster. However, during performance driving activities such as high-performance driving education (HPDE), the viewing of data is more important to the driver. The application also states an adaptive display would have use in autonomous vehicle operations where the information needs to be viewable by the operator under all conditions.
The Adaptive Instrument Cluster is said to have a controller that monitors the angle of the steering wheel and then repositions the instruments on the electronic display so that at least one instrument remains viewable within an opening formed within the steering wheel.
The three illustrations below shows the electronic display through the steering wheel as represented by an oval. As the steering wheel is turned to the left, the instruments also shift to the left and are oriented so that it still displays the key information through the steering wheel opening. Finally, the third drawing shows an extreme steering wheel angle with the dash display is repositioned to show through two different openings in the steering wheel.
We have included the PDF of the Patent Application which you can see at the link. Could such technologies be coming to the future Corvettes? Time will tell!
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