Mobility Solutions

New display technology from Bosch Three-dimensional automobile displays Spatial representation of information

  • High-performance graphics for calculating three-dimensional representation
  • Spatial perception possible
  • Expected deployment in series production vehicles as of 2015
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  • September 13, 2011
  • Mobility Solutions
  • Press releases

press release

The amount of information represented in automobiles is already enormous and is on the increase. However, various HMI concepts (Human Machine Interface) provide support for safe and easy operation of vehicles. They make use of electronic displays and their two-dimensional form of representation. In the future, three-dimensional technology – already the state of the art in other industries – will also be available for automobile applications. At Bosch the corresponding components are already being developed. Their deployment in series production vehicles can be expected as of 2015.

The first step towards three-dimensional representation in automobiles is provided by large displays, usually based either on thin film transistor (TFT) or liquid crystal display (LCD) technology. These are already standard in a number of vehicles; for example, in the instrument cluster or in a central display in the driver's direct field of vision.

There is also a clearly recognizable trend to increase the size of the display in the instrument cluster area. A development that will be launched on the market in the future is the so-called full display as part of the instrument cluster. This type of display requires no mechanical functions at all, its contents can be shown on a large screen in purely electronic form. A further advantage for the driver is the possibility of being able to customize the visualized contents. Depending on the situation, the driver is provided with a clear overview of all relevant information in his or her direct field of vision; for instance, speed, vehicle operation, navigation and entertainment as well as driver assistance functions.

High-performance graphics processors for automobile applications
The next step consists in three-dimensional displays for spatial perception of the represented information. Two different technologies are available to this end. They provide the right and left eye with slightly different partial images that are simultaneously shown on the display. With micro-lens array (MLA) technology, tiny optical lenses that are closely arranged above the display focus the pixels intended exclusively for the right and left eye, respectively. As an alternative technology, the so-called barrier mask makes it possible to view only those pixels intended for either the right or the left image by means of a grid structure that depends on the viewing angle. This technology is already being used in series production with the “Dual View” display from Bosch. The driver, for example, can track the visual navigation information, while the front-seat passenger can watch a film on the same screen.

Calculation of the two images for three-dimensional representation is a complex operation. It must be performed in real time in order to be able to flexibly represent the various contents. With high-performance graphic processors, the required computing power is now available for automobile applications. Design of the graphic HMI and animation of the graphic elements also play a special role in the virtual 3D setting. The driver perceives the three-dimensional effect only if conversion is natural and free from errors - the eye and brain are accustomed to perfect three-dimensional images through the natural environment and thus do not tolerate any inaccurate representation.

Spatial arrangement of information elements
The three-dimensional technology generates a feeling of depth which, for example, can be used in the spatial arrangement of menu structures or to prioritize displays. For example, all of the basic vehicle information can be represented at the level that is furthest away for the driver. Then, for example, when corresponding sensors report an occurrence of tire damage while driving, the error can be described on an upstream spatial plane – such as a tire marked in red as a warning on the front left of the vehicle silhouette. And at another level closer to the driver a concrete warning is given, such as: “Find a Parking Lot.”

Apart from representation on three-dimensional displays, spatial representations can also be generated on head-up displays. The three-dimensional effect results from superimposing the displayed information onto the real environment (augmented reality). In this case, the displayed information is generated in real time, geometrically corrected and projected into the actual scene at the corresponding destination. Thus, for example, the directions provided by the navigation system are virtually positioned on the actual lane in order to illustrate a turn-off maneuver.

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The Bosch Group is a leading global supplier of technology and services. It employs roughly 375,000 associates worldwide (as of December 31, 2015). The company generated sales of 70.6 billion euros in 2015. Its operations are divided into four business sectors: Mobility Solutions, Industrial Technology, Consumer Goods, and Energy and Building Technology. The Bosch Group comprises Robert Bosch GmbH and its roughly 440 subsidiaries and regional companies in some 60 countries. Including sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing and sales network covers some 150 countries. The basis for the company’s future growth is its innovative strength. Bosch employs 55,800 associates in research and development at 118 locations across the globe. The Bosch Group’s strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. Bosch improves quality of life worldwide with products and services that are innovative and spark enthusiasm. In short, Bosch creates technology that is “Invented for life.”

The company was set up in Stuttgart in 1886 by Robert Bosch (1861-1942) as “Workshop for Precision Mechanics and Electrical Engineering.” The special ownership structure of Robert Bosch GmbH guarantees the entrepreneurial freedom of the Bosch Group, making it possible for the company to plan over the long term and to undertake significant up-front investments in the safeguarding of its future. Ninety-two percent of the share capital of Robert Bosch GmbH is held by Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, a charitable foundation. The majority of voting rights are held by Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG, an industrial trust. The entrepreneurial ownership functions are carried out by the trust. The remaining shares are held by the Bosch family and by Robert Bosch GmbH.

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PI7486 - September 13, 2011

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