Auburn Hills-based automotive mobility technology provider Continental has developed an instrument panel display that allows vehicle information to be displayed dynamically, either in a private mode or in a way that everyone can see.
The new display technology allows front passengers to use multimedia content such as videos or the infotainment system without distracting the driver from road traffic. If necessary, and the traffic situation permits, all vehicle passengers can optionally be given access to this content by means of a switchover.
The market launch of the new privacy displays is planned for 2024.
Conventional displays, which up to now have been offered primarily for passengers, do not enable flexible switching to a private mode.
“Modern vehicles are increasingly becoming smartphones on wheels for drivers and passengers,” says Jens Brandt, regional lead of Continental´s business area user experience. “Driver distraction is still one of the main causes of traffic accidents. With our new display solution, we are therefore aiming for a digital experience that minimizes distraction.
“The user experience is becoming a fundamentally distinguishing feature and game changer in the mobility of tomorrow. The crucial factor here is that we also provide the front passenger with new infotainment options.”
Although privacy functions have been used for some time for laptop displays, they were not previously suitable for use in the automotive sector. Using private mode, users prevent content from being viewed by people in their immediate vicinity.
During the development of the new display technology, Continental says it succeeded in using this technology for the first time for the special requirements of a vehicle and combining the light in privacy mode in such a way that less than 1 percent of light emission is received by the driver. This feature does not impair driver awareness while at the same time, generating a high-quality display image for the passenger.
By switching the privacy function on or off, the display makes content visible either to only the front passenger or to all passengers.
“Thanks to our expertise in back-illumination and plastics technology, our privacy display includes a range of key components that we have developed and also manufactured ourselves,” Brandt says. “This enables us to meet the highest quality requirements both from vehicle manufacturers and users in terms of contrast, luminance, and image homogeneity. In addition, we will continue to increase energy efficiency until it is launched on the market, thereby making the technology even more sustainable.”