Apple CarPlay and Android Auto both require a larger touchscreen – the leader from Visteon

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Lawande says, “Today, to support CarPlay, the display has to be a minimum of 8 inches and a certain resolution, and as they go forward, they are mandating bigger screen sizes because it can show more information and they can do it in a less distracting way.” Beyond screen size, both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also influencing the number of screens in cars as they now plan on deeper vehicle integration and control. Both have announced their intent to take over control of core vehicle functions like the AC and powered seats. As Lawande puts it, “Basically, CarPlay and Android Auto will allow the phone to project information on up to three screens –the centre stack, the instrument cluster as well as a display on the passenger side, and that’s going to be soon available in all vehicles.”

A glance inside almost any modern vehicle reveals that displays have taken over the interiors. Digital displays have become the focal centre of dashboard design, not simply in terms of size, quantity, and prominence. Whether you like it or not, this trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. According to Sachin Lawande, president and CEO of Visteon, a global leader in automotive cockpit electronics, three factors are driving this trend: user expectation as a result of their familiarity with smartphones and tablets; ADAS, which requires a screen to display all functions; and smart phone integration systems such as Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which are increasingly playing a larger role in automotive electronics.


  • However, all manufacturers are not in the race for bigger screens. In fact, when Tata Motors presented its Avinya concept, the company made it quite clear that it believes that voice, and not screens, will be the future of the automobile interior. The Visteon head also concurs saying, “Voice is becoming a very credible solution. You’re not having an evening conversation with the car, you are commanding it to do certain things. So, there is a limit to the range of things you can say, which is actually helpful in improving the accuracy.”

  • As mass manufacturers offer multiple screens and larger display sizes, this will have a knock on effect on the luxury segment which will be forced to up the ante and go in for even bigger screens. As Lawande explains, “Most screens are currently 7 and 8 inches, but in the near future, 10 inches will be the standard. And what this does is put pressure on luxury manufacturers, who, in a desire to differentiate, will be forced to go in for larger screens. So we are, in fact, working on a 48-inch wide display, pretty much pillar to pillar.”

So, while screens will certainly be a major aspect of a car’s interior, in the long run voice control which is getting more and more accurate thanks to Artificial Intelligence (AI) could be how they could emerge as the dominate vehicle interface with screens playing a supporting role. Thus, in the future, we’ll likely be having more conversations with our vehicles rather than touch interactions.

According to Lawande, Visteon is also invested heavily in voice activation and its collaboration with Mahindra – where it also supplied the large twin screens – is an example of advanced voice control. “In order to enable the shift to voice you cannot do that with ECU architectures of today,” he says. “The processing demands on that require a shift to a different architecture, ethernet based and more processing capabilities like SmartCore on the XUV700 and you can see it offers a lot of voice capability, and it’s also very accurate.”


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