Delphi’s multi-layer display gives your car dashboard some depth

An in-car display is a terrible thing to waste, but Delphi’s new multi-layer dash screen technology could help automakers do something more interesting with all that in-car real estate. The infotainment and instrument panel-focused tech looks outstanding in person, as I discovered at CES, and Delphi CTO Jeff Owens says it’s ready to roll for OEMs looking to spark something new in the cabin.

The technology creates a sense of depth using two high-fidelity digital displays layered on top of one another, providing a 3D experience without any need for glasses or more complicated eye tracking or detection. The effect is more solid than other glasses-free 3D tech as a result, and Delphi has figured out ways to trick the eye into believing there’s more than just two layers of depth in what you’re looking at.

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Delphi’s done all the testing required in terms of classifying the tech as automotive grade, and is now in the process of talking to carmakers around use of the technology. An automotive OEM would license Dephi’s multi-layered display for use in their own vehicles, and then likely customize it to fit with their current branding, so a final product would look different compared with what you see here.

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That’s too bad, because in person what Delphi has created is very visually impressive, and Owens tells me they’ve also tested it on even higher density displays that are better still at conveying a sense of physicality for the virtual instruments.

In-car GUI is not something that carmakers are always great at, and in fact the visual and digital elements of infotainment displays from most OEMs look outdated or clumsy. Delphi’s technology has the potential to really make an immediate positive impact on the look of instrument clusters and cabin controls, which are increasingly going virtual. Other suppliers are striving for more complicated holographic interfaces with gesture control, but this multi-layered look combined with some haptic for eyes-off feedback are the right recipe for right now in my book.