After making its debut in the new Mégane E-TECH Electric, the OpenR screen now forms the centrepiece of the high-tech cockpit in the All-new Austral. The upsidedown L-shaped glass screen combines a digital instrument panel – a 12.3 inch horizontal screen located behind the steering wheel – and a multimedia display in the form of a 12 inch vertical screen positioned in the centre of the car’s dashboard. A 9.3 inch head-up display, projected onto the windscreen, completes the ensemble, which spans a total of 1000 cm² – a first for a Renault vehicle.
The instrument panel section of the OpenR screen offers four different views: Classic (showing gauges), Navigation (maps), Zen (minimalist) or Realistic (realistic modelling of the road and traffic around the vehicle). Five widgets – for fuel consumption, tyre pressure, distance, eco-monitoring and music – and eight lighting colours are also available.
And the OpenR Link multimedia interface has not been left out; users can customise their experience by creating their own profiles and adding widgets, so that each driver can access their favourite features as soon as they hop in. They can set up a comprehensive individual profile for each account, with their own settings – e.g., their Bluetooth connection preferences, favourite radio stations and more. Users can even connect their profiles to their personal Google accounts for an even richer experience.
Once on board the All-new Austral, users enjoy a very intuitive experience – like when using their smartphone, but with a multimedia screen that is six times larger and completely built into the car!
The OpenR screen uses the OpenR Link multimedia system developed with Google. The product of a decade of expertise in on-board screens and technology, OpenR Link is both upgradeable and open to the development of future technologies. Although based on Android OS technology – the operating system for 75% of all smartphones worldwide1 – and therefore naturally compatible with Android Auto, the system also works with Apple CarPlay. What’s more, OpenR Link offers a wealth of apps and other familiar features such as the Google ecosystem, including Google Maps, Google Assistant and Google Play.
The OpenR Link system offers many familiar applications including Google Maps
Users navigate OpenR Link in an intuitive manner, using one finger to tap, hold or scroll, two fingers to pinch or zoom, or even their voice, thanks to the vocal recognition technology. The driver and their passengers can access 90% of the features they need every day in just one or two clicks. The system receives and displays notifications and users can easily switch between the different areas – Homepage, Navigation, Music, Telephone, Apps and Vehicle – using the menu bar located at the top of the screen.
Lastly, like any decent connected operating system, OpenR Link is upgradeable. It automatically receives updates via Firmware-over-the-air (FOTA) technology. For Google apps, mapping and points of interest, these updates are carried out without any need for user intervention.
Renault worked with experts to build and obtain the most reliable and effective hardware components on the market. The All-new Austral’s central screen was made by Continental using Gorilla Glass-type aluminosilicate glass, like for smartphones. This highly shock and scratch resistant strengthened glass has been treated to reduce reflection and minimise fingerprints. The quality of the IPS LCD screen ensures sharpness, with an HD resolution of 167 ppi, a 60 Hz refresh rate and a 16 million colour display. The instrument panel screen is also kitted out with an anti-reflection filter, enabling optimal visibility for all information in all circumstances. What’s more, the brightness adapts to the light levels of the environment (up to 900 cd/m2) and advanced micro-blind technology also drastically reduces reflection. This combination of technology means the ledge that is usually included to protect instrument panel gauges from the sun is no longer needed, resulting in a more pared back interior design.
Renault has used the best performing and most reliable components on the market to design the OpenR screen for the All-new Austral
For the system’s computing power, Renault teamed up with American equipment manufacturer Qualcomm to harness the third generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit platform and its powerful 8-core processor. And the results are clear to see; onscreen motion is seven times smoother than in the previous generation! What’s more, OpenR Link features cutting-edge connectivity and is compatible with all the technology needed for driver assistance and safety systems.
Lastly, Renault worked hand in hand with South Korean multinational LG Electronics, to develop the human-machine interface (HMI). The software platform that they produced enables users to pair displays with the two screens in the car, which means the driver can look at maps from the navigation system directly on the instrument panel, for example.
1 Figures from Kantar World Panel, March 2021