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March 17, 2023

Peugeot Celebrates 10 Years Of i-Cockpit

More than 10 years ago, Peugeot introduced the i-Cockpit—a quirky interior design meant to revolutionize something the French automaker considers the least evolved in the history of the car: the driving position.

Though its success is entirely subjective, there’s no denying that the i-Cockpit concept has made Peugeot’s interior design rather unique. The i-cockpit has three fundamental concepts:
  • A compact steering wheel for a better driving feel and optimal handling.
  • A elevated display that allows the driver to view all driving-related information while keeping his or her eyes on the road.
  • A large central touchscreen, within easy reach and view, which allows the driver to manage the car's main functions.
As a bit of history, the i-Cockpit story began in 2010 with the Peugeot SR1 Concept.

At the time, the Peugeot teams were looking to develop the driver’s seat for better ergonomics and “more emotion.” The proposed solution? Reduce the size of the steering wheel.

The reasoning behind this was that the conventional positioning of the display and steering wheel was distracting. The best position for reading the information was at eye level, and for that to happen, Peugeot had to shrink the steering wheel. The net effect was something akin to a “head-up display,” while a touchscreen was added to simplify all the controls and add connectivity functions.

When the i-Cockpit debuted in 2012 in the Peugeot 208, the ultra-compact steering wheel also had a desirable side effect: it made it feel more agile. Because the driver needed to move his arms less for the same maneuver, it made it feel as if the cars reacted quicker. Moreover, the lower position of the wheel allowed the driver’s arms to be positioned at more comfortable angles.

Since its debut, the Peugeot i-Cockpit has continued to evolve and modernize. In 2016, the second-generation 3008 and 5008 unveiled a 12.3-inch digital display, while toggle switches under the central touchscreen made access to functions easier. By the time the Peugeot 2008 rolled in, they introduced a 3D digital cluster (see lead photo).

By 2021, the i-Cockpit has gone a step further by coming up with a steering wheel that’s capable of detecting the presence of the driver’s hands when using the driving aids. The new touch-sensitive toggles are also customizable.

For Peugeot, the i-Cockpit story is just beginning. It will continue to involve, and perhaps one day, become something close to the Peugeot Inception Concept. The Hypersquare interface in that concept car offers gesture controls akin to tablets and smart devices.

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