Continental tackles distracting screen displays

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Continental has developed a new display solution that intelligently supports drivers in keeping an eye on important information at all times: the ShyTech display.

A large amount of information is processed and displayed in modern, connected and, in the future, increasingly automated vehicles. To visualize this flood of information, increasingly larger screens are being built into cars. However, not every message displayed is relevant in every situation. This can lead to distraction and endanger driving safety. On the other hand, large displays without content do not contribute to harmonious cockpit design. As an alternative to large visible display designs, Continental has developed the ShyTech Display – a screen that appears only when it is needed.

“Displays are the central human-machine interface in the vehicle,” said Ulrich Lüders, head of strategy and portfolio in the Human Machine Interface business unit at Continental. “The design of display solutions therefore plays a central role in the design of the cockpit. Our ShyTech displays herald the beginning of a new age and for us they are the epitome of the cockpit of the future: digital, immersive and ‘shy’.”

This is made possible by a semi-transparent surface that allows screens to be seamlessly integrated into the surrounding surface – visually as well as haptically. If the display is not needed, it is practically invisible to the human eye. At the same time, Continental says it is pursuing an approach of puristic interior design reduced to the essentials.

Navigation or communication information, for example, and the menu on the touchscreen are always available. However, the displays and controls of the screen are only activated when a hand approaches. It is also possible to activate the display via voice control or by briefly tapping the screen surface.

With ShyTech technology, Continental says it has also solved the design requirement that unused screens normally appear as visually unappealing, black empty areas. With ShyTech, the display surface is designed to imitate the look of the dashboard. Depending on the configuration, this can be, for example, that of wooden panels, carbon panels or a leather-covered surface. “This enables a calm and tidy interior design in which a wealth of new functions can be integrated at the same time – without overwhelming the occupants,” said Lüders. In addition, disturbing light reflections, for example when the sun is low, are reduced.

A system concept developed by Continental also allows for seamless integration of the ShyTech display even when it is activated. This consists of, among other things, special backlighting, which in coordination with the LCD panel and the decorative surface, enables the display content to appear in the ideal brightness and sharpness in every light situation – from glaring sunlight to cloudy rainy weather.

Continental will launch the ShyTech Display in 2023.

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Lawrence has been covering engineering subjects – with a focus on motorsport technology – since 2007 and has edited and contributed to a variety of international titles. Currently, he is responsible for content across UKI Media & Events' portfolio of websites while also writing for the company's print titles.

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