Increasing the Number of Displays in Vehicles

A mock-up of various display locations available in a passenger equipped with the latest ADAS, including on-steering wheel display, projected head-up display (HUD) on the car’s windshield, and side mirrors integrated with camera monitoring systems (CMS).

A mock-up of various display locations available in a passenger equipped with the latest ADAS, including on-steering wheel display, projected head-up display (HUD) on the car’s windshield, and side mirrors integrated with camera monitoring systems (CMS).

Displays are increasing among the newest automobile models. This is a proliferation that will only continue as a growing number of vehicles integrate visual technology to display information to drivers and passengers. Indeed, the vehicle display market is anticipated to expand 19% per year (CAGR) until 2026,1 with a 65% net increase in the number of displays per vehicle between 2016 and 2021 alone.

Displays are beginning to be utilized in multiple locations inside the vehicle, including;

  • Dashboard/cockpit instrument panels
  • Head-up displays and projections on the windshield
  • Steering wheel displays
  • Center stack “infotainment” displays that can incorporate:
    • Navigation data
    • Cabin temperature controls
    • Audio/radio radio/audio system controls
    • Various additional vehicle functions, including back-up camera images when the vehicle is in reverse gear
  • Rear-view mirror and side-view mirrors fitted with camera monitoring systems. NOTE: Rear-view cameras are now a legal requirement for all new vehicles manufactured in the U.S., and many after-market systems can be purchased and fitted into older cars.
  • Entertainment screens for rear-seat passengers

Center stack of the Porsche 916 Spider (left) and the Tesla P100D center stack (right). Image credits: Porsche image from Preh.com, Tesla image credit Carol Ng.

Center stack of the Porsche 916 Spider (left) and the Tesla P100D center stack (right). Image credits: Porsche image from Preh.com, Tesla image credit Carol Ng.

Display Quality Demands

Consumers familiar with smartphones and high-resolution display screens demand the same standards from their vehicle displays. Texas Instruments2 summarizes the requirements for in-vehicle displays as:

  • High brightness. It is essential that drivers can efficiently read displays in all ambient light conditions, from complete darkness to a bright sunny day.
  • Wide viewing angles. Center stack displays must be visible to both drivers and passengers, which includes those in the rear seat(s).
  • Tolerating a broad range of temperature conditions. Temperatures of the vehicle’s ambient environment usually span -40 °C to more than 125 °C.3
  • High image quality. The introduction of superior display technology from consumer electronics to the automotive market is accompanied by the requirement for displays with high resolution, high contrast, and high color-gamut characteristics.
  • Color depth. Higher-resolution displays might be required to upgrade from 18-bit red green blue (RGB) to 24-bit RGB to accomplish a broader color gamut.
  • Long display lifetimes and sustained production support. Displays need to reinforce design and production cycles of five years or more, extendable up to 10 years in the case of vehicle warranties. Essentially, displays need to endure for the lifetime of the vehicle.

Additional features may comprise:

  • Quick response times and refresh rates. Preventing lags is essential for warning indicators and navigation functions such as backup cameras, real-time maps and traffic updates.
  • Anti-glare and reduced reflection. Displays need to offer important vehicle information to drivers without any reduction in visibility as a result of ambient light conditions. Simultaneously, anti-glare coatings must not inhibit visibility (the need to prevent "sparkle" interference).
  • Low power consumption. Low power consumption allows improved fuel consumption and permits components to be located in “hot spots” in the vehicle (localized areas on the printed circuit board (PCB) that can run hotter as a result of uneven power dissipation across the board inside the cabin, either due to the fact that they are located in areas exposed to direct sunlight, or because they are near alternative heat-producing systems).

Optional rear-seat entertainment console in the Lexus 2019 GX (left) and a top-rated rear-view camera system (right). Image credits: Lexus.com and Saferoad.org, respectively.

Optional rear-seat entertainment console in the Lexus 2019 GX (left) and a top-rated rear-view camera system (right). Image credits: Lexus.com and Saferoad.org, respectively.

With displays showing up in so many locations, they are quickly outnumbering the four wheels (or five, if a spare is included) of a standard passenger vehicle.

Ensuring Vehicle Display Quality

To satisfy these rigorous display criteria, while also helping automotive manufacturers to observe strict regulations for performance and safety, Radiant has been collaborating with companies in the automotive industry for over 20 years. Radiant offers solutions for test, quantification, evaluation, and quality control of headlamps and exterior lighting, illuminated characters, interior and small light sources, display panels, and HUDs, comprising technologies such as LCD, LED, and OLED.

Radiant has joined forces with leading automotive brands to conceptualize a methodology for measuring “sparkle” for the automated qualification of anti-glare displays, while also offering analysis of black mura gradient to meet DFF standards.

Example of a test running in TT-AutomotiveDisplay™ software, which can be used with a Radiant ProMetric imaging photometer or colorimeter.

Example of a test running in TT-AutomotiveDisplay™ software, which can be used with a Radiant ProMetric imaging photometer or colorimeter.

In recent years, Radiant unveiled the latest module of its TrueTest™ automated visual inspection software platform: TT-Automotive Display™. This bespoke suite of software solutions integrates a comprehensive range of tests for evaluating the quality of displays included within a vehicle, comprising embedded displays such as rectangular and free form, to address issues like image sticking.

Acknowledgments

Produced from materials originally authored by Anne Corning from Radiant Vision Systems.

References and Further Reading

  1. Automotive Display Systems Market…Global Forecast to 2026. Published by MarketResearch.biz, October 2017. LINK
  2. Krishnamurthy, A., Ma, D., Mehta, C, and Weiss, I., Powering automotive displays to create interactive driving experiences. Published by Texas Instruments, January 2018. LINK
  3. Per the Automotive Electronics Council

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Radiant Vision Systems.

For more information on this source, please visit Radiant Vision Systems.

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