How will in-car displays change to improve consumer enjoyment?

Digital displays are rapidly becoming a crucial part of the human-machine interface in vehicles. But are there limits to this visual revolution? As an integral part of advanced driver assistance systems in connected cars or as a provider of intelligent and personalized infotainment in autonomous vehicles, automotive screen time has vast potential.

​A glance into the interior of any car at an auto show these days will tell you that digital displays are in the ascendance. Advances in display technology such as QLED and OLED, the familiarity and instinctiveness with which consumers now interact with digital displays and the increasing breadth and complexity of functionality are just three of the reasons for this visual in-car explosion.


“Ultimately, the whole car, inside and out, could become a display," says Rashmi Rao, Global Head of Advanced Engineering, Strategic Business Unit User Experience for HARMAN's Connected Car Division. “In addition to the operational and safety aspects, the flexibility offered by display technology for instant personalization, infotainment and signalization to the in- and outside in future usage models is extremely attractive."


HARMAN has already showcased a number of scenarios that explore the diverse applications of display technology within the context of connected vehicles, ranging from the Ultra-HD Digital Cockpit to the highly personalized, multi display vehicle infotainment solution in a Maserati based concept vehicle.  But are such giant displays or a combination of many high-tech displays actually affordable?  

Highlights

“Ultimately, the whole car could become a display. In addition to the operational and safety aspects, the flexibility offered by display technology for instant personalization in shared usage models is extremely attractive."

​“Our developments are already enabling us to combine the content of up to six displays on one SOC and one Compute Platform," continues Rashmi Rao. “As the volume of information available to the driver continues to rise, this kind of system integration is hugely important to minimizing the complexity of vehicle hardware and software to reduce cost."


In the modified Maserati GranCabrio, for instance, the HARMAN Digital Cockpit included several advanced Samsung displays: a flexible OLED formed into an S-shaped control panel on the center console, an HD OLED for the instrument cluster, and an industry-first 28-inch QLED combining a central infotainment and a dedicated passenger display as well as three configurable control knobs featuring OLED technology. All run on a single Compute Platform in conjunction with the HARMAN Ignite cloud platform.

​Looking further forward to fully autonomous vehicles operated with shared usage models, advanced displays provide the basis for a comprehensive end-to-end experience that is highly connected, personalized, intelligent, productive, and entertaining.


“The user's cloud profile would be downloaded on entering the vehicle and instantaneously transform the sensory touchpoints with sounds, colors, lighting, imagery and content that conform to customer preferences. Displays can provide everything from relaxing moodscape to HD infotainment to an office on wheels. The options are virtually endless."