Dashboard Screens Go Super Large

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How would you like to be in the radio replacement business for a 49-inch touchscreen?

Automotive startup Byton debuted at CES a high-tech prototype car with a touchscreen that runs the full length of the dashboard.  But what’s unusual about the car, is it is not a concept.  It’s heading for the US in 2020 at an estimated price tag of $45,000.

The 49-inch touchscreen may be used by the passenger and driver alike. It responds to Alexa voice control and gestures as well as touch control.

Byton’s vehicle was a finalist for Engadget’s Best of CES award in transportation.

The Byton EV also gets built-in 5G and autonomous driving features. It includes side cameras instead of mirrors, but you can add mechanical mirrors where mandated by law.  And there’s an 8-inch screen embedded in the steering wheel for driver information. The car has no door handles. And the seats are unusual as they can swivel 12 degrees towards the center, so when cars become autonomous, passengers can face each other.

Health sensors including weight sensors will also be built into the car.

The Byton EV can go 325 miles on a single charge.

Byton is a Chinese car company whose name comes from ‘bytes on wheels,’  illustrating the goal of creating a practical car suitable for the future.    As “Wired,” noted, a Chinese-made car has yet to find success in the US, but Americans buy millions of cars from Japan and Korea each year, so it may only be a matter of time before China is added to the list.  You can read more about Byton here.

Another impressive screen of the future was shown by Samsung and Harman (now owned by the former). Even the knobs in the digital cockpit have 1.2 inch OLED screens that change according to your functions.  The cockpit includes a 28-inch QLED display–a first for the car.  QLED offers better resolution and less glare. The system was linked to home devices via Bixby (Samsung’s voice agent, like Alexa).  You can actually check to see what’s in your refrigerator from you car dashboard screen, complete with a view of the ketchup, mustard and last night’s leftovers, as they appear in the frig.

Using Bixby and the touch screen, you can control a Roomba from your car, or view a 360 dashcam.  A demo of the digital cockpit at CES is shown here (sorry it didn’t show the inside of a fridge).

At any rate, you can infer that dash screens will be larger in the cars of the not-too-distant-future.


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