Automotive Display Technology: 7 Emerging Trends
The automotive industry has experienced incredible change within the last few years. The rise of electric vehicles (EVs) is the clear impetus for change both in performance as well as design strategy. As the all-electric powertrain drives the future, drivers and passengers are just as focused on the interior experience. Specifically, new trends are emerging in the automotive display market adding features, safety, and customization options.
Understanding some of these trends and anticipating the materials required within most display systems requires consistent research and experienced leaders. At Polymer Science, we provide a range of adhesives, tapes, and coatings including general industrial, thermal management materials and shielding & grounding materials used with the displays. The expertise and decades of experience within Polymer Science’s diverse team are key assets to manufacturers and suppliers of automotive display systems.
Trends in Automotive Displays
Let’s examine 7 trends in automotive display technology ranging from the size of the display system to the astounding improvements in head-up displays.
- Larger Displays In 2023, approximately 40% of automotive displays are 7-9 inch screens. There is a greater percentage of larger display screens, approximately 41% are 9-13 inches.
Automotive displays are becoming larger to accommodate consumer demand for infotainment and the increase in electronic interfaces controlled by center stack displays. Another key reason display size is able to increase is technology is meeting demand. LCD displays were offered in more than half of all vehicles in 2023. Better visibility and legibility allow drivers and passengers to access various functionalities with greater convenience.
- OLED Technology (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) has gained popularity in automotive displays. Bigger screens, vibrant colors, high-contrast ratios, and fast response times are wide-ranging benefits of OLED displays. Within an automotive display, specifically, OLED displays are advantageous because they are thin and flexible. For manufacturers looking to provide large displays but constrained by space, OLED technology can simply roll up or fold away instead of filling the center stack.
- MicroLEDs include high brightness, excellent color accuracy, wide color gamut, and fast response times. While still on the bleeding edge, the incredibly small size of MicroLEDs may quickly become a viable solution for many displays and other applications with automotive design.
High pixel density, enabling displays with high resolutions and sharp details, holds the possibility of both flexible and even transparent substrates. Curved displays, conformable displays, and innovative form factors could redefine the automotive display.
- Electronic Mirror fills the surface with a digital image instead of a traditional mirror surface. Improving visibility, reducing blind spots, and broadening the viewing angle enhance safety and comfort. Electronic mirrors are already used on numerous surfaces, and this technology continues to push the bounds of what a mirror surface can provide drivers.
- Reconfigurable Instrument Cluster Reconfigurable instrument clusters replace traditional analog gauges with digital displays. They offer customizable layouts and provide real-time information about vehicle speed, fuel levels, engine performance, and other relevant data.
The automotive reconfigurable instrument cluster market share is expected to increase by USD 1.83 billion from 2021 to 2026, as the cost of LCD becomes more affordable. Reconfigurable instrument clusters improve readability, reduce driver distraction, and allow for personalized user preferences.
- Center Stack Display acts as the main display unit in the center of the vehicle’s dashboard. These displays serve as the central hub for controlling various functions like infotainment systems, climate control, and connectivity features. As electric vehicles become more common, trends in center stack displays anticipate more controls moving away from doors, overhead switches, and center console controls. Center stack displays offer intuitive interfaces, touch controls, and multi-functionality, providing an enhanced user experience for drivers and passengers.
- Head-up Display (HUD) projects essential information directly into the driver’s line of sight, typically on the windshield. These systems were rather bulky just a few years ago and limited in capability beyond GPS directions. The equipment needed to project the head-up display has been reduced considerably in size.
The brilliance and vibrance of images on the windshield have improved through the use of LCD and LED technology. HUDs are effective for GPS instructions and warning of dangers within the driver’s line of sight.
The Role of Polymer Science in Automotive Display Technology
Throughout the entire automotive display industry, there is projected growth opportunity. Constantly expanding safety standards, consumer demand, and the need to optimize the performance of electric vehicles promise further innovations in these trends and others.
In order to execute the electrification of passenger cars, designers and manufacturers will need to design display systems that both excite consumers, perform multiple functions, and meet or exceed safety requirements.
Finally, reliable partners are needed to ensure technical feasibility seamlessly transitions to mass production. Polymer Science works with leading OEMs, tier 1 suppliers, and vehicle planners on bonding, EMI shielding & grounding, thermal management, cushioning & damping, and general-purpose adhesives, tapes, and coatings. Our extensive knowledge of working across aerospace, computers, smartphones, tablets, and other technologies aids in finding innovative materials for automotive displays.
Polymer Science’s experience in aerospace, smartphones, tablets, computers, and other technologies provides all of our partners with beneficial knowledge. Bonding challenges in automotive displays include vibration resistance, moisture protection, and environmental hazards. Foam tapes, fabric tapes, and liquid adhesives are effective in automotive displays.
EMI Shielding & Grounding
With a broad range of foil, conductive foam, and fabric tapes, Polymer Science helps identify the best materials to block and absorb EMI with P-SHIELD® materials. As automotive displays become more compact, thin, lightweight, and versatile, materials help in design. For instance, non-adhesive conductive foams and fabrics ensure automotive electronics are shielded and protected from vibration.
P-THERM® thermal management materials include gap fillers, heat spreaders, and adhesives to control heat in automotive displays. Innovative solutions like 2-part dispensable gap fillers are lightweight, thin, and effective. The application process and curing can be customized to optimize production processes. From concept through production and throughout the service life of the automotive display, Polymer Science works to benefit all aspects of the product.
Cushioning and damping
Protecting electronics, displays and other sensitive components is key to the long-term function of automotive displays. Polymer Science offers a range of foams that address impact and vibration concerns.
These are just a few examples of the role Polymer Science fills in helping advanced automotive display technology. Throughout these technologies, films, tapes, adhesives, gap fillers, foams, and other materials are required. As the automotive display market evolves, trust Polymer Science to support your design, engineering, and manufacturing process.