Automotive touch screens are increasingly being adopted into automotive vehicles for enhancing user experience. The customers are already accustomed with tablet PCs and smartphones in their everyday lives, thus integration of touch screens in automotive makes user feel more connected while driving. The automotive screens display content from variety of sources coming from both outside and inside of the car. Many newer applications require touch screen panels which changes the role of in-car displays to making it actual human-machine interface. Increased volume of display data has supported the need for easy-to-use display designs which incorporate larger sizes, curved or non-rectangular shapes as well as higher resolutions.
Touch screens are considered to be the primary interface in various electronic equipment as they provide improved reliability and are easy to use. Touch screens have emerged as essential inclusion for information systems and vehicular telecommunications. Manufacturers are using touch screen information display and infotainment as an important marketing tool while promotions. These screens are gaining popularity owing to their attractive aesthetic features inside the vehicle.
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Touchscreens are significantly adding value to the driver satisfaction by having comparable functionality of smartphones. Voice command systems plays an important role in facilitating some advanced functions with all safety concerns surrounding touch display in the vehicle. It features many smartphone functions and is designed to have much more safety-centric user interface. High speed limits the usability of dynamic functions and features available on the touch screens, thus the voice systems allows them to link the user experience of content and advanced functionality in a safer way.
The touch panels for automotive applications are different from those of consumer electronics. Manufacturers focus on low power consumption, low price, portability and about three years of durability benefits for consumer electronics. Comparatively, automotive industry requires over 10 years of durability when operated in harsh conditions thereby increasing the touch panel costs. These displays are integrated into automobiles for better intuitive control, infotainment and safety.
Integration of touch screens have eliminated the physical knobs and buttons for providing better infotainment and improving the aesthetics of the dashboard. The touch panel feedback requires the driver to take her/his eyes off the road impacting with the passenger safety. Buttons, levers and knobs have tactile feedback which can be easily reached without looking at them. These factors may restrain the automotive touch screen market over the forecast timeframe.
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Semi-autonomous and autonomous driving provides further significant growth opportunities for the industry as the driver specifically need not to look on the road while driving. Moreover, integration of cameras, radars and sensors into the automobile for vehicle safety features such as adaptive cruise control, crash imminent and automatic emergency braking features support the touch screen industry growth over the forecast period.
Automotive touch screen market can be segmented by touch and by application. Touch screens requiring lighter touch pressure are increasingly being adopted into the vehicles which is affecting the technological shift from integrating resistive panels to projective-capacitive panels. The entry level cars features basic touch screen head units which lacks dynamic functions and features such as connected services and apps synchronization in order to cut the costs. By application, the automotive touch screen market can be segmented into light commercial, heavy commercial and passenger vehicles.
Almost all Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) integrate touch screen into their automobiles with Mercedes Benz, BMW, Volkswagen (VW), Ford, Toyota, Hyundai, Maruti Suzuki being the major industry integrators. Prominent vendors offering automotive touch screens are Denso, Bose, Harman, Blaupunkt, Synaptics, US Micro Products, New Vision Display, and Touchnetix. Concept cars such as VW T-Cross Breeze, BMW I Vision Future Integration, and Acura Precision have eliminated the use of knobs and buttons and have incorporated touchscreens for providing information on dashboard and interaction with the vehicle. Tesla models have incorporated 2 big screens oriented into portrait and landscape mode for providing semi-autonomous or autonomous driving information.
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