Johnson Controls presents innovative touch screen display for the lower vehicle segments

Fewer buttons - more comfort and convenience

Burscheid/Germany - Johnson Controls, one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive interior systems, electronics and batteries, reduces the complexity of vehicle interiors with its innovative monochrome touch screen display - that can be intuitively operated. This cost-effective, user-friendly technology even works without the need for additional foils.

The growing number of car functions and accompanying control elements mean designers and ergonomic consultants are being confronted with an increasingly difficult task. While these com┬şfort, information and entertainment features are seen as opportunities for adding value and individual character to vehicle interiors, there is a limited amount of installation space available within easy reach of the driver and front seat passenger.

Touch screen displays with built-in information and operating components may be the answer to this challenge. Yet this technology, which is a familiar feature of many other application areas, has not made much headway in automotive interiors so far - with the exception of a few navigation systems. With an output of over five million displays a year, Johnson Controls is already one of the leading producers of components for all kinds of driver information system. The company has now developed a new technology that enables the use of touch screen displays in automotive interiors.

Cost efficiency by reducing the need for foilUnlike other touch screens to date, this innovation from Johnson Controls works without the need for expensive foil layers on the glass display. Instead, an advanced version of the classic LCD (Liquid Crystal Display) technology allows a sensor mechanism to be incorporated directly into the glass. The special layout of the LCD has several sensitive areas where finger positions can be detected by capacitive effect. Foil-free display screens also offer other benefits which include being rich in brightness and more cost effective than other touch screen systems. Not only that - the integration of information and operating functions into one component reduces the number of controls required in the cockpit. This cuts down the complexity and at the same time increases the level of creative freedom that can now be applied to the interior design.

Air conditioning control panel as prototypeAs the first application example of the new technology, which is already available for monochrome displays, Johnson Controls has developed an air-conditioning control panel requiring only a very small amount of installation space. The touch screen of this unit supports all conventional operating functions and eliminates around 20 mechanical knobs and buttons. Comprehensive tests and validation trials of the prototype have since confirmed the efficacy of the technology, even in the thermally demanding environment of a vehicle interior.

"These new touch screens give automakers the potential to introduce new information and control systems, even to lower and medium vehicle segments," said Thomas Patzelt, Vice President and General Manager Electronics Europe at Johnson Controls. This also serves the company to reinforce its reputation as an innovative automotive industry partner, capable of independently developing and offering its own solutions.The first serial applications of these new touch screens could be ready by 2009.

Photos are available at www.johnsoncontrols-press.com.

Further information is available from:

Johnson Controls GmbH

Interior Experience

Astrid Schafmeister

Industriestra├če 20-30

51399 Burscheid

Tel.: +49 2174 65-3189

Fax: +49 2174 65-3219

E-mail: astrid.schafmeister@jci.com

Ina Longwitz

Tel.: +49 2174 65-4343

E-mail: ina.longwitz@jci.com

Johnson Controls is a global leader in interior experience, building efficiency and power solutions with 136,000 employees in more than 1,000 locations serving customers in 125 countries. The company provides innovative automotive interiors that help make driving more comfortable, safe and enjoyable. For buildings, it offers products and services that optimize energy use and improve comfort and security. Johnson Controls' automotive product portfolio also includes seating systems, instrument panels/cockpits, door and overhead systems, interior electronics and electrical energy management. The company provides batteries for automobiles and hybrid electric vehicles, along with systems engineering and service expertise. Founded in 1885, Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI) is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The European headquarters is in Burscheid, Germany. Please visit www.johnsoncontrols.com for additional information.