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Monday - February 14, 2022

Captivating Displays Driving Vehicle Engagement

Screens have been ubiquitous in vehicles since the 2018 rule that required back-up cameras for new vehicles. Since then, a competition amongst manufacturers to have the coolest, biggest and most high-tech vehicle infotainment displays has fostered ingenious – and sometimes bizarre – new products. Furthermore, the declining price of LCDs has made it possible to increase the number and size of displays within a vehicle while keeping it competitively priced. New display technology is now making it possible to improve vehicle safety, functionality and connectivity.

Balancing Low Power with High Contrast

Many vehicle functions are transitioning from manual operation to complex, fully automated systems. This has also mirrored a shift away from mechanical components towards electronic modules that provide greater control. OEMs need to consider the energy required to power these electronics – especially within electric vehicles. Designing for low power consumption is a trend that will continue so that vehicles and devices can operate longer and more efficiently than they do today.

Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) require a considerable amount of energy to illuminate the always-on screen, transfer data, and cool the electronics. Some vehicle infotainment displays even integrate haptic feedback using mechanical actuators to simulate the feeling of actual buttons. Choosing lower power LED backlights with local dimming, along with efficient cooling solutions, helps lower the power draw for the infotainment system. It is important to also consider the contrast of automotive displays, as they can be exposed to bright sunlight and other less than optimal conditions. The screen needs to be visible to the driver at all times in order to remain useful. New technology, such as full-array LEDs, has been able to boost light output from LCD displays. Coupled with localized dimming, these displays are capable of producing brighter images with richer contrast.

How to Maximize Engagement While Reducing Driver Distraction

At CES 2022, multiple Tier 1 automotive suppliers showcased new display technology intended to minimize distractions for the driver. After introducing full-dash display systems a few years ago, many OEMs are concerned with keeping a driver’s attention on the road. New technology makes it possible to display media for the passenger while remaining invisible to the driver. The privacy display uses specially designed backlights that precisely direct light and optimize the digital experience for each occupant.

Our Human Machine Interface Technology Powers Novel Vehicle Displays

Fully digital vehicle systems offer many advantages – from reducing mechanical failures to over-the-air (OTA) update capabilities – that increase driver engagement and brand loyalty. At MinebeaMitsumi, we understand the rapid pace that automotive technology evolves and are ready to meet new challenges for next generation vehicles. Through integration of our wide range of competencies, we have developed new solutions such as a 2D Local Dimming Display that can turn on/off specific LEDs within an array to create high contrast images. Incorporating a Direct Drive Actuator within the HMI can provide robust haptic expression using a simple solenoid structure.

According to analysts, the number of screens is expected to increase to 12 per vehicle and may be digitally joined together to act as one large infotainment display. We are excited to bring new solutions to this growing market and help vehicle manufacturers realize their design goals.

Christian Voegerl
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