This New ‘Shy’ Car Dashboard Only Shows Itself When You Need It

For years, automakers and suppliers have proudly displayed the most advanced interior technology, such as increasingly large screens or multi-speaker audio systems.

However, a relatively new trend that is only now appearing in automobiles takes a more subtle approach. To avoid overloading the driver with too much information, “shy tech” conceals the technology in other objects until it is required.

This could include screens or control panels that appear to be interior trim. When the car is driving itself, the dashboard, steering wheel, and pedals could rescind into the firewall for Level 3 or 4 autonomous vehicles, in which the driver is only needed in real emergencies.

Continental is the latest company to make the bet that its customers are ready to go minimalist.

“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 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’.”

Continental argues that large displays without content do not contribute to a harmonious cockpit design.  And therefore, Continental’sthe company’s ShyTech Display “appears as if by magic only when needed.”

Large displays without content, according to Continental, do not contribute to a harmonious cockpit design. As a result, the ShyTech Display “appears as if by magic only when needed.” 

Continental’s ShyTech display uses a semi-transparent surface material that can be made to look like wood grain, carbon fibre, or even leather. To bring up screens and controls, use a wave of the hand, voice control, or tapping the screen surface.

“You don’t want to overload the driver with too much information,” Kai Hohmann, product manager for display solutions at Continental, said. He added that the ShyTech display could be combined with a head-up display to create a sleek, minimalist cabin design.

The mass production of the ShyTech display will begin in 2023. In addition, Continental is offering an integrated driver attentiveness camera embedded in the instrument panel trim as an additional contribution to reducing visual clutter.

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