Conformed displays in any shape and size for tomorrow's car

Josephine Socratous, Senior Research Engineer

February 03, 2021

The number and size of in-vehicle displays has increased dramatically over the last few years. This trend is expected to continue as tomorrow’s car is ever more connected and automated. Furthermore, there is an increasing need for digital screens to seamlessly integrate into the curved surfaces of new vehicles. Flat, rectangular glass displays are a major design constraint, limiting design freedom from an aesthetic and ergonomic perspective. FlexEnable’s ground-breaking OLCD technology opens the door to novel design features that not only increase the vehicle aesthetics but provide additional safety and functionality.

Car interior featuring curved displays

Invisible A-pillar

The incorporation of a display into the A-pillar provides the opportunity to make the pillar effectively transparent, eliminating vehicle blind spots. A camera installed on the exterior can map the environment on the display so that pedestrians and other road hazards can be detected early and avoided. Automotive tier 1s and tier 2s are working together to develop the required software and user-interface so that the mapping from the camera to the display occurs in real-time, allowing the driver to react promptly.

Centre console

There is an increasing desire for large central infotainment display. This unit can be used for satellite navigation, controlling the air vents and the music. FlexEnable and Novares have showcased a centre console concept in 2019’s NovaCar #2 based on two 12.1” OLCD displays curved in an S-shape. OLCD not only enables non-rectangular displays but also allows holes to be cut through the display thus allowing knobs or a gearstick to protrude through the display. This seamless integration of mechanical and electrical features creates even more functionality for users.

Dashboard

Current trends are based on large landscape rectangular displays that extend from the driver to the passenger seat. Often multiple displays are used to create the impression of a single large display. OLCD technology allows conformable displays that can be bent in such a way that information projected to the passenger does not distract the driver. This can be a single large display with multiple curves or separate displays. The content for the driver can be tuned to include side-view mirrors in combination with exterior cameras.

Other displays

OLCD technology allows design freedom and opens up endless possibilities. The display size and shape can be customisable for each OEM emphasising the chosen safety and/or comfort features. OLCD can be manufactured in existing display fabs with minimum capex requirements. As it is based on conventional LCD technologies it brings all the strengths of LCD’s performance, scalability and automotive-qualified supply chain, with the advantages of glass-free, conformable and shapeable displays to almost any interior surface.

For more information on OLCD for automotive applications, please get in touch with us at info@flexenable.com.

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