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Tomorrow’s Vehicles Will Feature an Array of Displays
AUG 24, 2016 18:23 PM
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Tomorrow’s Vehicles Will Feature an Array of Displays

By Sri Peruvemba, Board Director & Head of Marketing, Society for Information Display

Automotive displays can allow us to drive better, smarter and more carefully, working in tandem with the many sensors and cameras being designed into new vehicles as part of advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) technology.

So what kind of display(s) will see you over the next few years?  

The automotive display market is growing at a rapid clip. A report released in January 2016 by IHS Automotive anticipates that the size of the annual market for automotive display systems will grow at a compound annual rate of more than 10%, reaching about $18.6 billion by 2021. Most of these displays are expected to be liquid crystal displays (LCDs) and/or active-matrix organic LED (AMOLED) displays. Market research firm IDTechEx  expects the sales of AMOLED displays in automobiles to reach $1b by 2021.

This makes sense, as we are indeed seeing that many manufacturers are looking to put different, much larger displays into cars to help support such functions as infotainment, safety and internal vehicle systems. Larger displays like the 17-in. display in the Tesla car allow for an ever increasing set of applications that we desire. Some of the displays will remain in the familiar location known as the center stack, accessible by both driver and front-seat passenger. Others approaches being developed are curved displays (hence, the AMOLEDs) to provide the driver with a better, less distracting viewing angle while monitoring the various functions, and displays that shift mapping and navigation from center-stack to instrument cluster (the display right in front of the driver, where the speedometer typically resides).

And then there are heads-up display (HUD) technologies. Essentially, a HUD is a transparent digital image projected onto a car’s windshield that displays the same information as the dashboard – speed, engine temperature, odometer readings, etc. The idea is to display this information right in front of the driver, allowing him or her to keep eyes forward on the windshield and reducing the time spent looking away. This should lead to safer driving and fewer accidents.

What about autonomous cars? If they’re truly self-driving, why will they need displays?  The short answer is that it’s not arriving tomorrow and when it is widely available, not everyone will purchase a self-driving vehicle, regardless of their likely eventual ubiquity or redundant tests that demonstrate their safety. Basically, we anticipate people falling into three main categories:

o   Early adopters – these folks won’t care about autonomous cars’ more utilitarian appearance and potentially lower cost; they are ready to trust technology ahead of others. First time car owners could also fall into this category

o   Late adopters -  they’ll continue to purchase and drive “traditional” cars, adapting to the ever-increasing electronic capabilities that will slowly bridge the gap between traditional and fully autonomous cars; eventually they may prefer the safety features of the autonomous cars but would want to take manual control if necessary

o   Car lovers and collectors – these folks love their cars; either vintage cars or luxury cars that they wish to drive for the pure joy of driving or to possess it for its value. They would be willing to give up on technology and or features.

With that said, if self-driving cars live up to their promise, they will transform the market in the next decade- and they will also transform/diminish the insurance industry. And the DMV might be only a bunch of kiosks. Will we then not need driver’s licenses if we are only driving autonomous vehicles? Can a ten-year-old travel in such a vehicle all by herself? We are in for a big change particularly in developed countries where driving one’s car is a daily routine. 

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