In the impending race to upgrade automobiles to meet consumer demand as well as to stay ahead of the competition, automotive display market has been gaining remarkable traction as smart displays are considered the next big thing in the automotive industry. Lately the automotive industry has been including an increasing number of in-car displays which are not only growing in number but are also growing in size.
For instance, at the 2019 Consumer Electronics Show, Byton, the Chinese premium electric auto manufacturer, showcased two massive infotainment displays. The displays effectively replaced the conventional dashboard with the screen. But in the age of connected and self-driving vehicles, size of the display can often be secondary to the technology it brings to the vehicle. Therefore Byton has made its display not only large but has enabled it to recognize gesture and touch based actions and obey intuitive voice commands.
Automotive smart display industry is being significantly shaped by the penetration of startups that specialize in designing displays which can arguably be said to take a step further into futuristic displays. For instance, the Israeli startup Gauzy developed a smart glass that can turn car windows into video displays. The windows are fitted with ultra-thin LCDs and can be used to display relevant information or even for advertising. While Gauzy has been reported to be collaborating with German auto manufacturer Daimler to create the first ever Dark RetroFit LC film for the automotive industry, US transportation company Lyft is planning to incorporate something similar in its autonomous cars.
Instead of using the windows to display information or advertising, Lyft claims that it will be enabling self-driving cars to communicate with pedestrians by turning the windows into screens and displaying such massages as “safe to pass” or “safe to cross”. As the automotive industry is changing course to introduce autonomous vehicles on roads, pedestrian safety has become a major issue. Considering the fact that drivers and pedestrians often interact with each other in very human ways, removing the driver can definitely create a void and lead to insecurity among pedestrians and thus decrease public support autonomous vehicles. Automotive smart displays are therefore gaining traction in more ways than one.
Automotive smart display market is also being stimulated by technological advancements such as augmented reality that can essentially turn the windshield of a car into a head-up display. Such a technology has naturally stimulated automotive display manufacturers due to the possibilities it indicates to help drivers in making the roads safer. At the CES 2019, WayRay, the Swiss holographic AR technologies developer, showcased the Genesis G80 that can bring futuristic HUDs to current vehicles.
The technology developed by WayRay does not relegate the HUD to a corner of the windshield. Instead it expands it to the whole windshield and overlays three-dimensional animation on to real life objects in front of the vehicle. Significantly WayRay is valued at $500 million and the AR tech develop by the company is largely considered the next chapter for automotive smart display industry.
Established automotive display manufacturers are also taking a similar approach as WayRay. For instance, automotive display manufacturer, Continental, has designed a holographic head up display that is claimed to be one third the volume of AR head up displays while at the same time providing a larger image with all the relevant information. The technology is also expected to boost driver confidence as drivers will feel secure in the knowledge of what the car actually sees and knows, leading to increased driver confidence in automated driving as well.
The prevalence of other mainstream technological developments have also been registered in the automotive display market. For instance, Himax Technologies, a fabless semiconductor company recently launched its OLED automotive display driver for BOE Technology Group Co, one of China’s largest automotive display manufacturer. OLED display is superior to traditional TFT LCD displays in terms of image quality, slim design, light weight and form factor advantage. It has won over the smartphone market in past few years and is now moving towards automotive smart display market.
As displays become thin, light, shatterproof and conformable to any surface, they are not being confined to the dashboard and the center console. With technological advancements adding new dimensions to the product, automotive display market size is slated to surpass $30 billion by 2025, recording double digit CAGR over 2019-2025.