Flat panel displays are playing an increasingly larger role in car designs. The latest step in this direction is shown by Audi in its latest prototype, Audi Prologue. Audi uses three separate touch enabled OLED displays to transform the complete instrument panel into a touch sensitive area to allow direct interaction between the driver and the car. In addition, Audi has added a fourth OLED display in the middle console, which is also flexible.
The first two images show how the complete instrument panel is used to display certain information, depending on what is required. It also shows that this display is a rather complex shape. (I don’t understand why this display has to be touch enabled, as the instrument cluster is pretty inaccessible during driving and even when parking.)
The third image shows the middle console’s flexible touch OLED display with navigation guidance activated. The vehicle has a range of sensors which allow the user to see input from various cameras for park-assist and other situations.
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Audi talks about three separate displays in front of the driver; one to the left of the steering wheel, one in the center and one on the right of the steering wheel. The provided images do not exactly match this description, as it is impossible to discern any displays to the right or the left of the steering wheel. It seems that the complete display is positioned behind the steering wheel. It is unclear if this is just a poor description or the images do not reflect this concept yet.
All in all we have to remember that this is just a concept car and we have to see how much of the concept will make it into the real model later on. The Audi Prologue seems to present the direction for the next Audi A8 model, so expensive technical toys are a distinct possibility. – Norbert Hildebrand