Integrated screen solution spans entire cockpit width

Integrated screen solution spans entire cockpit width

Technology News |
The trend towards huge display screens in car cockpits continues: After Daimler recently presented its electric flagship EQS, in which the cockpit screen extends from door to door, Continental has now received an order to build a similarly large screen - from whom is unknown for the time being. The vehicle model is scheduled for series production in 2024.
By Christoph Hammerschmidt


Continental has received a major order for a pillar-to-pillar display in a production model from a global vehicle manufacturer. The A-pillar-to-pillar screen solution provides the surface area for a growing number of vehicle functions, digital services, and communication and infotainment applications. It is scheduled to enter series production in 2024. This makes the display the central visual interface between the driver, the front passenger and the digital driving experience. At the same time, the pillar-to-pillar display in a high-volume production vehicle marks another milestone in the evolution of the car into a smart device as part of the Internet of Things. Whether navigation, warnings, films, news, social networks, office applications or booking apps for planning the route: displayed across the entire width of the cockpit, the content achieves a unique immersion and offers both drivers and passengers a completely new user experience.

“The digital, safe driving experience is becoming the strongest differentiating feature of modern cars. The size of the displays and intuitive operation play a central role in this. What used to be horsepower is now screen diagonal and user experience,” says Dr Frank Rabe, head of the Human Machine Interface business unit at Continental. The Continental manager thus drew a connection between screen functionality and size on the one hand and the importance of automated driving on the other. Because, according to Rabe, “With automated driving, the way we spend our time in the car becomes more important. This also increases the need for solutions and services for the user experience in the vehicle.”


This trend also shows that the time of the classic dashboard with speedometer, rev counter and fuel gauge is over; traditional pointer instruments and centre consoles are increasingly considered too rigid and inflexible in view of the multitude of new vehicle functions and digital services that are pushing into the car with increasing connectivity. The exclusive focus on the driver is also no longer appropriate for the variety of communication and infotainment services that are now available to vehicle occupants.

For this reason, the screens have been getting bigger and bigger for years. This also creates design challenges that have produced different forms over time. From flat to curved displays in V-, C-, L- or finally S-shapes that accommodate both driver and passenger. The display can thus be reached with a minimum of physical effort.

With increasing size, several displays are networked into one unit under one surface. It is not only crucial to create invisible transitions. Sensors and cameras for recording driver behaviour can also be seamlessly integrated. In addition, convex and concave shapes are increasingly being used so that the user can perceive the controls intuitively. Likewise, Continental is working on intelligent hardware and software solutions that enable simplification of the driver’s safe, multimodal interaction with the vehicle. This also includes more unusual developments such as 3D displays without the user having to wear special glasses.

Against the background that in future a few high-performance computers will replace the previous multitude of dedicated control units, the pillar-to-pillar display is the next evolutionary step and an expression of the increasing convergence of the car into a mobile data centre.

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