Volkmar Tanneberger sees a central role for the HMI in defining the user experience  (Photo: Claus Dick)

FRANKFURT - Volkswagen is developing variable HMI concepts that can be adapted to a particular driving situation, a senior carmaker executive said Wednesday.

"Future cars will need such driver-situation dependent concepts," said Volkmar Tanneberger, head of of electrical and electronics development at Europe's largest carmaker.

In an address to the carIT Congress here, Tanneberger said the HMI (human machine interface) is key for the popularity of a brand. "The user experience is central to our ability to inspire people," he said.

Gesture control, which VW showed as a work in progress at the Frankfurt Auto Show this week, is likely to become a feature in tomorrow's cars. "We assume that, in future, gesture control will become more important," Tanneberger said.

He added that industry coordination will be important to make sure that the same gestures apply in all cars. "It won't work if you have different gestures in a VW or a BMW or a Mercedes." But gesture language will likely vary from one region to another, Tanneberger said.

The carIT Congress, which is hosted by the automotiveIT Group, takes place every year during the Frankfurt Auto Show and the Hanover Truck Show.