The 8-inch factory screen is creeping up in size to 10-inches and even 24- or 48-inches wide.
Vehicles from Mercedes, Dodge, Toyota, Tesla, Volvo, Byton, BMW and Honda now offer super large displays or are slated to in the near future.
For example new vehicles from Mercedes in the US and Honda in Europe offer two 12.3-inch screens side by side to create a two foot display.
Byton, a new car due in the US next year will have a 49- inch display that runs the length of the dashboard plus another display in the steering wheel. Harman showed a prototype full dash display at CES 2018. And BMW has shown a large, nearly full dash display as a concept for the iNEXT (https://www.bmwgroup.com/BMW-Vision-iNEXT) that’s due for release in 2021.
At the very least, car makers will be replacing their 8-inch displays with 10-inch models, said Greg Basich, an analyst for Strategy Analytics. But many car makers are offering even larger screens.
“Regarding displays, future ones seem like they’re falling into a few broad categories, such as the large, horizontal displays [like Byton’s], portrait-orientation displays (as in the 2019 Ram 1500, the Tesla Model S, Toyota Prius, or the Volvo XC90), and just somewhat larger horizontal, in-dash center information displays.”
Honda’s new system includes 5 screens across the dash. It’s due on its electric Honda E scheduled for production in Europe next year. Honda released a video showing the system that includes dual 12.3-inch screens, one for the driver and one for the passenger, plus three other screens. These include monitors for the side cameras that replace rear view mirrors.
Mercedes Benz new MBUX system is a twin-screen system, with a 12.3-inch display for the driver and a second one for the passenger. It can also be used with gesture controls (see video below).
There are some usability issues with some of these new, larger screens. As they switch from function to function (such as radio to HVAC) they can be confusing to the driver. For example, Byton had to add a touchscreen embedded in the steering wheel to make its system more usable.
“To sum it up, it’s going to be a mixed bag, with portrait orientation displays, horizontal displays of varying, but larger, sizes, some dual displays, and some larger center-stack displays (10-plus inches). Of course there will still be some OEMs that keep their 7- or 8-inch displays around for a few more years as well. I don’t think there’s a single display trend that’s going to overtake the entire auto industry globally at this point, if for no other reason than interior designers at automakers want to differentiate their infotainment systems from one another,” said Basich.