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At the risk of displeasing fans of the brand, we are not going to talk about Tesla at all. The players we will cite below are BMW, the new Chinese brand Avatr, but also technology suppliers like eCarx, LG, Samsung, Valeo and Zeiss. And it must be said that this Munich show looked a bit like CES in Las Vegas in certain respects.
Let’s start with screens first, because the XXL trend is well underway. Each new Chinese manufacturer that arrives on the market systematically offers a display strip that runs the entire length of the dashboard and a central screen much larger than that of a Model 3 or Y. It is thus at Hiphi, Xpeng and recently at Avatr, the brand created by Changhan, CATL and Huawei.
At eCarx, an equipment manufacturer specializing in intelligent cockpits, and notoriously linked to the Geely group, we were told that customers in the Middle Kingdom love the latest screens and want ultra-high-performance processors for gaming in particular. . Some manufacturers offer several 4K screens that can control powerful processors. The fact is that screens surround us and they can change the atmosphere on board.
As soon as the IAA Mobility show opened, LG boss William Cho took the floor to say that he wanted to bring the group’s know-how to the road. For 20 years now, the Korean has been supplying screens and electronic components to the automotive industry. And a study, carried out among 31,000 drivers from 4 countries, reveals that 72% consider that the time spent in a car is mainly intended for relaxation. 43% of those surveyed consider the passenger compartment to be a personal space. LG’s promise is therefore to make the car a sort of digital space (digital cave), which can serve, for example, as a Home Cinema. With OLED display technology, curved screens, artificial intelligence and mixed reality, car interiors will become even more fun.
And this future is not so far away, according to the Korean group. It is not Samsung, its compatriot – which probably occupied one of the largest areas of the show – which will contradict him. He also took advantage of IAA Mobility to communicate on his innovations in high-resolution display (and in particular the enormous round central screen of the new electric Mini).
A display across the entire windshield
Credit Photo – Zeiss
In fact, it is the windshield which will itself become a sort of giant screen.
BMW announces the arrival of the Panoramic Vision system in 2025, which displays information for the driver and passengers. The head-up display, which the Bavarian manufacturer has been offering for 20 years (!), has been continually improved. It will progress further with a 3D display providing contextual information for the driver, directly in their field of vision. The big difference is that the pilot can choose to share information that passengers can also see, such as speed, the next change of direction, but also the title being listened to. He will be able to do this directly from the multi-function steering wheel. 3D animations will thus be able to sweep across the entire lower part of the windshield (along a dark band), thanks to a new projection system. And this, with an optimal level of contrast and an image of rare sharpness. The panoramic system will be accompanied by a new iDrive control, a new central screen and a new generation operating system. All this is part of the famous new Neue Klasse platform on which BMW’s future electric models will be developed.
At Zeiss, a well-known sensor specialist in the world of photography, we also believe that the windshield could become a medium in the future. Present at the IAA Mobility in Munich, the German group was attending a car show for the first time. And its holographic technology could become the equivalent of what Gutenberg brought to books with the invention of printing. Zeiss developed micro-optics processes that were first used in aeronautics and aerospace. They are now adaptable to the automotive industry. This newcomer provided proof of this at the show with demonstrations of a head-up display and augmented reality on the windshield. And this actor goes further. With his “smart glass”, he even imagines being able to integrate image projections on the interior windows (for example, a video call). The video would only be visible to the passengers, nothing being able to suggest seen from the outside that an additional screen is potentially available at the back and on each side of the car.
Dynamic and useful lighting for autonomous vehicles
Photo Credit – Laurent Meillaud
The new features are also on the outside of the car.
Thus, we were able to see at Valeo a light strip that can display logos and information for the attention of other vehicles (risk of ice for example). But we are mainly thinking of messages that can be transmitted to pedestrians, within the framework of an autonomous vehicle. This is what, for example, is already anticipated by the new Avatr brand.
Its latest model, the Avatr 12, for example, incorporates an exterior strip between the hood and the windshield. This is also the case for the Avatr 11, currently marketed in its country of origin. It allows you to display, for example, “you can cross”. “In China, legislation already allows messages to be displayed on the outside of vehicles, but for the moment only when stationary,” explains Frenchman Olivier Molody, responsible for user experience and human interface. -machine within the brand.
At Zeiss, we also imagine being able to discreetly display on the sides of the vehicle that the vehicle is in autonomous mode, for example, if the driver were to nose dive. Same tone at the equipment manufacturer Forvia (resulting from the merger between Faurecia and Hella), where the combination of know-how in electronics and lighting potentially makes it possible to make the bodywork an extension of the turn signals, for example. While we see the first backlit brand logos appear, we can expect breakthroughs in terms of display and lighting. It will also depend on the regulations. But, we felt clearly in Munich that certain players are already ready and that things will go faster in China.
To sum up
Do you like heads-up display and augmented reality? So, you’ll love the panoramic head-up display, the holographic display and some other technical advances that we spotted at the Munich show.