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Switch panels

HMIs for special-purpose vehicles

The user interface is an important aspect of any vehicle experience, especially those which have been extensively modified with extras - hydraulic lifting controls, sirens, light bars, central input devices, and security measures.

EAO develops HMI-systems and components for special-purpose vehicles that are flexible and adaptable (Photo: EAO)

HOW TO CONTROL THESE ADDITIONAL FUNCTIONS within the existing vehicle interior, without interfering with the driver’s view or interior ergonomics, poses a real challenge. Overall, there must be an intuitive cockpit HMI (Human Machine Interface) where everything is well within the driver’s reach and view. EAO (Germany) is specialized in bespoke, built-in panel solutions to present information within the existing dashboard and ‘center stack’. The company utilizes a mix of technologies, which might include a touch screen or display, membrane keypad, discreet pushbuttons, and emergency-stop functions built into a housing and connected through CAN and J1939 to simplify wiring and communications.

Special-purpose vehicles may require updating and adaptation, so the company designs switch panels with flexibility in mind. Modular switching components can be plugged into the panel and locked firmly in place, simplifying both assembly and maintenance. This arrangement allows vehicle builders to store components separately and configure them during final assembly to meet end-user needs. The company manufactures tailor-made dashboard controls, operator interfaces and discrete switches used in instrument clusters, gearshift controls, parking, seatbelt and safety controls, and various other HMI systems and components. The products are for the use in harsh operating environments and comply to industry standard specifications for shock, vibration, fire and smoke emissions.

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