Dashboards without mechanical buttons, customisable ambient lighting, displays printed on wood veneer and sensors moulded directly into the surfaces - Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is experimenting with systems that can considerably change the interiors of cars. Users would benefit from being able to tailor the vehicle more closely to their personal needs. Design engineers and designers can look forward to weight savings and new design possibilities. The company is experimenting with LESA (Lightweight Electronics in Simplified Architecture) technology, which is based on flexible wearables and curved TV screens using OLED technology.
Jaguar Land Rover has measured weight savings of up to 60 % on an automotive control unit thanks to LESA. The growth potential of this technology is huge, says JLR: Printed and encapsulated electronics are not only lighter, but also flatter than conventional components thanks to their monolithic design, while offering the same functionality. In addition, the aesthetic impression of the technology could be improved - at least if one intends to place it in the visible area.
With the help of three-dimensionally structured electronics, the electronics experts and interior designers at Jaguar Land Rover want to be able to develop streamlined, completely buttonless cockpit designs in the future. The company sees a wide range of applications, from personalisable ambient lighting to sensors for chassis control systems and curved, buttonless control panels to novel designs for heated steering wheels.
As cables, sensors and other control elements are cast or printed directly into all non-metallic materials, in-car electronics benefit from weight savings of up to 60 percent and from the elimination of bulky control units, which also opens up package advantages. Thanks to encapsulation, sensors, for example, are also more durable and protected against shocks, moisture and deposits. An additional benefit results from faster, less complex and highly automated manufacturing processes.