Sep 27, 2023

Ducati selects Qt for motorcycle digital displays ...

The new Ducati Scrambler 2023 model (above) is the first to apply the Qt for MCU technology. This is a graphics framework and toolkit that delivers smartphone-like user experiences on resource-constrained devices.

The complex cluster design for the Ducati motorcycles includes splash screen animations, dynamic multilingual menus that change position and size on the screen for optimal readability, and swift real-time interaction with motorcycle data.

This ‘quasi-3D graphics’ is achieved with only 1.5MB of RAM running on bare metal or real-time operating systems with highly optimized libraries tailored to the microcontroller and low-end microprocessor memory footprints. The tools support snap boot, accurate timing, thermal efficiency, and real-time control.

Ducati adopted Qt for MCUs on bare metal to create a nimble system stripped out of all unnecessary elements, and at the same time to develop the UI on PC before the actual hardware was ready.

“The market requires modern, rich, and sophisticated graphics, with dynamic visuals that adapt to world events. Acceleration, braking, and RPMs should be reflected on the screen in real-time, with a constant data flow happening in the range of milliseconds. Our aim was to achieve smartphone-like performance, without the corresponding gigahertz clock capabilities” said Claudio Mariani, Director of Electronic Systems at Ducati.

“With Qt technology, we’ve been able to develop and test the UI on PC while a second team developed the hardware from bare metal,” said Amilcare Franciosi, Automotive Team Leader at Egicon, the Tier 1 supplier in charge of creating the Scrambler’s cluster. “At the time we moved to integration, the UI graphics and functionality were already tested and only needed to be verified on the actual hardware. Such parallel workflow reduced our delivery time by over 50%.”

“Riding a Ducati is just an all-around cool experience,” says Miao Luo, Head of Automotive and Design Tools at Qt Group. “We wanted to make sure the solution we give them for their digital displays allows their motorcycles to continue living up to the ‘cool factor’ that has defined their brand for years. The result is an extremely fluid and aesthetically animated experience via the motorcycle display.”

“The partnership serves as yet another example of the automotive industry continuing along the path of software-defined vehicles,” he said.