Delphi has created an instrument cluster – the 3D MLD display. The company claims it provides driver and passenger alike with a true 3D effect without requiring special glasses or causing headaches and other negative side effects.
The concept combines software, optical and imaging technologies using two LCD panels, layered with one in front of the other and with a gap of depth in between. A single backlight illuminates both display panels, allowing light to pass through the back display to the front. As a result, the front layer appears see-through or translucent. The visual impression is cliamed to be stunning without causing eye strain, headaches, cross-talk, decreased definition, or the sweet spots typically associated with 3D visuals.
The MLD display also offers safety benefits by utilizing the extra salience of depth with MLD, the driver can be notified of critical alerts in their peripheral vision quicker and complex information (such as a navigation map) can be easier to comprehend. In addition, with content distinctly separated between layers, the driver can find contextually important information at a glance while still having high-priority information immediately accessible in the forefront.
These features mean that MLD can both reduce the amount of time the driver takes their eyes off the road in order to understand a digital image and improve reaction times to alerts and warnings when concentrating on the road – all while reducing overall driver distraction.
Delphi’s MLD cluster debuted in a concept Ford Mustang GT at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016 to rave reviews. For CES 2017, it expanded the use of MLD displays across the entire dashboard. As automakers seek higher end, more premium instrument cluster displays, the future is likely to be multi-dimensional.