Today at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Texas Instruments (TI) (NASDAQ: TXN) DLP® Products, to carry on TI’s longstanding commitment to the automotive industry, has revealed its latest vision for the future of in-car/vehicle infotainment with groundbreaking augmented reality (AR) head-up displays (HUD), digital dashboards, and center console systems enabled by TI DLP technology. These next-generation systems from TI mark TI DLP’s first official entry into the automotive industry, and represent a notable shift forward with regards to higher resolution and brightness, expanded field of view, tactile feedback, distraction-reduced functionality, and interior design flexibility that breaks the design barriers of existing technology. Together with a number of automotive suppliers and manufacturers, TI will be demoing some of the new-era systems across the show floor during CES 2013 to offer a glimpse of what drivers and passengers can possibly experience in their cars in as little as a few years.
Further supporting TI DLP’s expansion into the automotive space, Strategy Analytics noted in its automotive electronics report* that through 2018, “High growth application areas (with unit CAAGRs in excess of 50%) include: Pure electric vehicles, head-up displays, drowsiness detection, front LED lighting, stop/start, lane departure warning, and blind spot monitoring.”
“DLP technology has long been known as a leader in digital image quality and intelligent display capabilities across a variety of products and applications,” said Kent Novak , senior vice president and general manager, Texas Instruments DLP Products. “For us, the world of in-vehicle infotainment, especially augmented reality head-up displays in the near future, can benefit greatly from what we can do with DLP technology, combined with TI’s proven automotive processors, sensors and other products. With our partners, we’re delivering the same connected, immersive experiences that consumers expect from smartphones, tablets, gaming systems, and more into the cabins of modern cars and vehicles, but in a less distracting and more usable way.”
With the unique micromirror structure of DLP technology, TI has been able to develop a compact HUD system with higher brightness and clarity amid driving conditions, a much wider field of view and increased color reproduction over other display types. Software-based augmented reality elements, such as navigational indicators, real-time landmark details, or safety warnings, can be shown in relation to real-world objects in view to help keep the driver focused on the road ahead. Additionally, the size of the HUD image can also be adjusted and positioned on the windshield to best match the line of vision depending on their seating position, and thus improve the driver’s ability to stay focused and alert.
For console and dashboard displays, the speed and accuracy of DLP technology, combined with infrared cameras and other TI components, such as the new “Jacinto 6” processor, allow for multipoint, touchscreen interactivity across the entire surface of the console, scalability to any size and shape, including curves, and true tactile comfort and familiarity via integration of physical dials and buttons. Additionally, full-color, high resolution video, animations, and static images to indicate vehicle information, navigation, in-car entertainment, and HVAC controls can be shown simultaneously and even repositioned to best suit the driver and passengers. Additional TI sensors can determine whether it is the driver’s or a passenger’s hands approaching the console and adjust the images and available functions accordingly for safety.
All DLP-powered HUD, dashboard, and console setups will be able to display content from whatever software programs and formats that manufacturers may choose, whether proprietary or 3rd party commercial/open source.