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Bosch attempts to reinvent the dashboard with 3D displays


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German technology and engineering giant, Bosch, says it's developing screens for car dashboards that use 3D graphics.

Using a passive 3D screen, which does away with the need for special glasses, Bosch aims to generate a more involved experience.

Dr Steffen Berns from Bosch Car Multimedia explained that the effect is not just an entertainment gimmick.

"The display's depth of field means drivers can grasp important visual information faster, whether from an assistance system or a traffic-jam alert, alerts that seem to jump out of the display are much more obvious and urgent," Berns said.

Illustration of the Bosch 3D dashboard display

Bosch representatives described how the technology could be employed to make parking cameras more involved, accurately conveying depth. Urban navigation could become a whole lot easier thanks to 3D building markers clearly showing where to turn.

Bosch: We're ready for the automobile of tomorrow

Right now, vehicles may depend on as many as 15 processors to control voice commands, instrument clusters and user controls. However, Bosch says that it can reduce that number to just one single control module. This, in turn, reduces weight and improves fuel economy, as well as lessening the complexity of vehicle maintenance.

Bosch's current catalogue includes screens of all manner of shapes and sizes, such as curved screens for increased immersion and rounded corner displays.

Vehicle display milestones

Bosch has always been at the forefront of vehicle display development. For instance, the Stuttgart-based multi-national supplied Audi with the world's first in-car digital LCD display back in 1983. Bosch can also lay claim to the first in-vehicle programmable screen and it debuted the first curved instrument cluster in the 2018 VW Touareg, helping to reduce glare.

It's a $30 billion market

Bosch forecasters suggest that the worldwide vehicle instrumentation screen demand will double from today's value of US$15 billion to over US$30 billion in 2025.

When will we see 3D dashboards?

Pretty soon. The representatives from Bosch were keen to underline the stringent conditions that vehicle components must go through. They explained that a display has to work from -40° in the Arctic Circle right up to 120° in the blistering sun. Displays have to default to a failsafe mode in case of errors. To meet these requirements, a lot of testing no doubt needs to be undertaken.

Car models like the Audi RS5 and Range Rover Sport already feature virtual cockpits displays, as do upcoming models like the 2020 Audi SQ8 and the Ford Mustang.

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Picture: Bosch

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