Automotive tech company Continental is launching the world’s first production 3D digital instrumentation cluster. Its first application is on the Genesis GV80 high-line variant.
Taking digital instrumentation to a new level, the Continental technology displays three-dimensional scales, pointers and objects, for example displaying a stop sign warning in the driver’s line of sight. The company claims that no special glasses are required to see the 3D warning signal. Instead, parallax barriers are used – slanted slats that divide the image for the viewer. The visual image portrayed mimics that of real objects, with two different, slightly offset views reaching the right and left eye, resulting in the three-dimensional image.
Continental’s interior camera, which detects the driver’s line of sight and adjusts the 3D views to their precise head position, plays an essential role. To prevent drivers from focusing their attention on the 3D screen for too long, the camera also employs attention detection to identify potential moments of driver distraction or fatigue. With the 3D visualization of the instrument cluster, Continental is focused on ensuring the driver is not overloaded with information provided by advanced driver assistance systems, conventional displays, communication services and infotainment applications.
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“With our volume-production display featuring autostereoscopic 3D technology, we are raising human-machine interaction to a whole new level and laying the foundations for intuitive communication in the connected cockpit of tomorrow,” said Dr. Frank Rabe, head of the Human Machine Interface business unit at Continental. “To ensure that this gain in safety and comfort does not come at the expense of a lean electronics architecture, we integrated various displays in the center console or dashboard into our Cross Domain Hub.”
The Cross Domain Hub is a high performance computer and the basis for Continental’s 3D display being used in the Genesis GV80.
Continental is also planning to roll out 3D display technology to the front passenger and occupants in the rear seats. The new 3D display is based on the natural 3D Lightfield Technology from Silicon Valley based company Leia. With this technology there is neither the need for cameras detecting head movement nor 3D glasses. As a result, the Natural 3D Display not only saves weight, space and costs, but also opens up an entire world of digital services to all the passengers in a connected car – from video conferences and online shopping to augmented reality games and 3D movies. Instead of the parallax barriers described above, this system relies on Diffractive Lightfield Backlighting (DLB™) technology from Leia. An optical waveguide with diffraction grating and nanostructures beneath the display panel creating a natural 3D effect by bending the light. Continental is adapting this technology for use in vehicles. The system is planned for production by 2022.