LCD instrument panels are coming, trickling down from a handful of expensive cars today to affordable cars. You need an LCD display in front of you to process all the information you’re getting from the car and connected devices.
It’s time for a big-screen LCD instrument panel. They’re on a dozen premium car models today. Affordable cars are getting hybrid displays in the instrument panel: The speedometer, tachometer, and fuel gauge are traditional mechanical devices; inset among them or in a bottom strip is an LCD display that can show all the other information.
Small MID adds information at low cost
A multi-information display (MID) has been in the center of car instrument panels for years and has been upgraded from a text-only display, good for showing the outside temperature or miles to empty, to a small color LCD that can show navigation arrows, MP3 album art, or an icon of the car with information such the four tires’ pressures. The Chevrolet Malibu Eco (above) is typical of the current genre of smallish LCDs that provide a lot of information for just a few dollars of manufacturing cost.
The future: LCD instrument panels, TWO center stack LCDs
Can you have too much of a good thing? Concept cars and soon production cars may have high and low LCD displays in the center stack with dual 7- or 8-inch displays. While some higher-end cars have 10-inch displays, IHS’ Boyadjis says prices are falling most for 8-inch LCDs. A higher panel is better for quickly seeing information. Low is better for touching and swiping with your finger. The Infiniti LE concept car incorporates two center stack panels in addition to to a full digital instrument panel.