Japanese tech website TechOn has published an article about the new Remote Touch system that’s set to debut with the 2010 RX this month:
The “Remote Touch,” an HMI (human machine interface) for the car navigation system equipped in the “Lexus RX” released by Toyota Motor Corp, was developed by Denso Corp.
…the haptic technology was adopted so that the driver can feel like the pointer is gravitating toward the switch. The operating knob is equipped with two motors and an encoder, and the motors are controlled so that the operating knob will always be in a neutral position after the car navigation is started.
Toyota has not made any announcement in respect to the adoption of the Remote Touch for Toyota products other than the Lexus brand vehicles. It is expected to be more expensive than the haptic dials employed by German manufacturers including BMW AG and Daimler AG. Therefore, its adoption, if any, will probably be limited to upper grade models.
It’s interesting that the article reports the controller automatically centers itself — this would be an improvement over the Remote Touch displays shown at recent car shows, which lacked this functionality. This seems like an important feature, and we’ll have to wait until the RX debuts to get the final word.
Another point this article makes is that the Remote Touch may not appear in all Lexus models, but I highly doubt that will be the case. It stands to reason that every vehicle will have the option for the Remote Touch controller, provided the model can accommodate it.