Published on August 1st, 2013 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez1
Continental is developing the free-programmable instrument cluster
For years, the display area in the instrument cluster has been gaining in importance. “Our usage habits of consumer electronics directly influence the way we interact with displays in general,” says Spoelder, “photo-realistic images and 3D animations are ways to realize intuitive driver information in the instrument cluster.” Continental, for example, is currently examining how autostereoscopic 3D displays in the instrument cluster can assist the driver in a useful way, in its ergonomics laboratory in Babenhausen/Germany.
This technique also has potential for a new type of instrument: the free-programmable instrument cluster, which consists of a single 12.3-inch TFT display. In this large display area a great variety of content can be combined seamlessly – from the conventional round display to the graphical implementation of spatial depth. It is even possible to adapt the free-programmable instrument cluster to the needs and wishes of the individual driver. Style, size and color of the display can be adjusted as easily as the overall amount of information shown.
The first use of such a free-programmable instrument cluster with innovative display capabilities can be found in the new 2013 S-Class from Mercedes-Benz. At this year’s Frankfurt Motor Show (IAA 2013), Continental will also show the next evolutionary step for the head-up display (HUD): ten years after the first series production start of a full-color HUD, the company shows a HUD with a much larger display that is also capable of supporting the driver by introducing Augmented Reality functionality.