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Navigation aids, telemetric equipment, audio system features and the standard instruments are all fighting for space on the instrument panel (IP). This creates a challenge for interior designers and engineers who need to keep the IP simple so that the driver is not distracted by too many buttons and instruments. Customers also equate a spacious interior with luxury – another reason why the IP shouldn’t look overcrowded.

Designers deal with the problem in various ways. They reduce the size of ‘space-eaters’ such as heating and cooling systems, or even remove them completely from the IP by putting them under the seat or in the boot. They also put many functions, such as station pre-set buttons for audio systems, on touch screens, which save space on the IP. But there is still the danger of overcrowding the screen, which could distract the driver and thus cause an accident. Another problem is the position: the touch screen needs to be located high on the dashboard so that the driver can use it easily while driving. But if it is too high it can be hard to read because of reflections and the sun ‘washing out’ the screen.

Some engineers see voice recognition as a way to get rid of many manual controls and to simplify the IP. But voice recognition can also be overused. There needs to be an optimal balance between visual displays and voice instructions, so that the driver can deal safely with all the information he or she receives.


1. Match the words from these two boxes to make expressions:

Urban, Cd, running, resale, braking, boot, front, disk, kerb Costs, consumption, brakes, capacity, distance, suspension, value, value, weight


2. Study the following information:

Automobile dashboard: the control panel of a car. Contains gauges used to measure speed, distance traveled, etc. It is generally located in front of the driver.

Rearview mirror: mirror used for looking backward.

Cigarette lighter: device used for lighting cigarette.

Vent: opening that allows air to circulate in the passenger compartment.

Glove compartment: storage compartment at the front of passenger compartment.

Radio controls: button used to control the radio.

Heating controls: button used to control the different heating systems of a car.

Steering column: set of mechanisms used for steering a car.

Turn signal level: control that operates the turn signals.

Windshield wiper controls: hand lever controlling the windshield wiper.

Instrument panel: set of dials and pictograms that give information on the state of a vehicle.

Sun visor: movable device that shields against the sun.

3. Match the expressions above with the following definitions:

a) A measure of the car’s wind resistance or drag coefficient.

b) The amount you spend on petrol, tax, maintenance, …

c) A volume of the boot.

d) Haw much fuel you need driving around town.

e) Brake system which uses a caliper and rotor, or disc, to stop or slow a vehicle.

f) How much you can expect to get if you sell the car after three years.

g) The connection of the axles by springs and dampers to the car body which prevents occupants from feeling road shocks.

h) The distance between putting your foot down on the brake and the car stopping.

i) How much the car weighs when there are no passengers in it and with half a tank of fuel.

4. Translate the sentences into Ukrainian:

a) The front suspension has been stiffened to produce more precise steering at high speeds.

b) We have also increased the size of the disc brakes for a shorter braking distance.

c) I also noticed that the press release says there is improved fuel consumption.

d) Firstly, we have enhanced the Cd value with a new design.

e) We have also reduced the weight of the car by over 50 kilos by using light-weight materials.

f) We have introduced a start-stop automatic so that the engine cuts out if you stand still for more than three seconds and starts again when you take your foot off the brake.

g) This has a positive effect on the running costs of his car and on the resale value.

h) We have also increased the boot capacity to make the car more practical for families and sports people.


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