The North American International Auto Show is taking place right now in Detroit, and Acura has just taken the wraps off of the 2019 RDX, and it is a stunning automobile. But the feature that really impresses us is the new True Touchpad Interface, which is Android-based. According to Acura, this is a new interactive heads-up display, which is atop the center console and is close to the driver's natural line of sight.
Acura noted in its press release that this new HUD is designed to combine advantages from a regular touchscreen system and a remote-based approach. Basically, a typical touchscreen in the center console will be out of the driver's line of sight, forcing the driver to take his or her eyes off of the road and press what they need to press on the display. Now of course a remote interface does solve this, but Acura says the interaction between a remote and display is often clumsy, but that's not the case with this new Acura True Touchpad Interface. Acura is not the first car maker to do a remote system here, but it has made it easier to use. So each spot on the Touchpad is mapped precisely. It's also the first application of absolute positioning in the driving environment. What this means is that if you tap in the top left of the touchpad, it'll start the action from the top left of the interface.
That's not all that is new on the new Acura RDX, there is also a new natural language voice recognition system. Which is said to dramatically improve the ease and intuitiveness of voice commands in the vehicle. Acura's senior engineer of user interface research, Ross Miller, stated that "absolute positioning transforms the touchpad experience, making it personal, intuitive and particularly well-suited for premium, driver-centric, performance machines." Miller continued by stating that "it's also designed to be adopted quickly and easily, as drivers become acclimated and comfortable in minutes."
This heads up display from Acura doesn't have Android in the interface, if you're an Android user, you'll quickly notice that it does not look anything like Android, and it's definitely not Android Auto. But the backend is running on Android. Which means that Acura has a pretty heavy skin on the True Touchpad Interface here, which is expected. There's no launch date for the Acura RDX just yet, but it'll likely be available in the second half of the year. It was completely made in the US and will be manufactured at a plant in Georgia.