The future is flexible in the automotive world


Flexible displays are relishing a 107.2{f31f6ecffb34375fd9f87a98429f445e701cb826ab1a6f6cc611dc3cd2aec2bf} growth rate to 2019 and the automotive industry is a sure target sector, but is the automotive world ready for a flexible future?

Printed and flexible electronics in the automotive sector are expected to surpass $5.5 billion by 2026, according to a recent report by Research and Markets.

Vehicle manufacturers and consumers alike are constantly on the lookout for the sleek looking, all singing, all dancing automotive interior. Flexible displays are a step towards making this a reality and the automotive industry is beginning to dip its toes into the exciting world of flexible, conformal display options.

Audi and Samsung have collaborated to develop the Audi Prologue A9 Prototype concept car, which includes a bendable, high-resolution Samsung OLED display next to the gear stick to control climate and vehicle settings. Whilst Hyundai showcased rear view and indoor wing mirror displays, general dashboard and central consoles at this year’s CES Show in Las Vegas.

Other new developments include displays to eliminate blind spots, heads up displays incorporated into the windshield of cars, as well as innovative developments in connectivity on-the-go, infotainment and vehicle safety.

Due to the nature of the automotive industry, display panels and screens must be robust enough to ensure safety for passengers. Plastic offers just that. Plastic is not only unbreakable and low cost, but highly conformable and versatile, meaning it can easily fit around curved spaces. Using plastic as a replacement to the traditional glass-based displays provides a longer life-time as well as anti-glare properties, vital for displaying information on the move.

SmartKem truFLEX®  is a world leading organic semi-conductor platform for the manufacture of flexible displays and electronics. The truFLEX technology can be printed onto plastic, allowing manufacturers to make lightweight, unbreakable and fully flexible organic light-emitting diodes (OLED) and liquid crystal displays (LCD) displays at low cost.

OLED technologies are developing at a rapid pace and are becoming the display technology of choice for consumer devices.  The transport sector itself is expected to show a 40{f31f6ecffb34375fd9f87a98429f445e701cb826ab1a6f6cc611dc3cd2aec2bf} year on year growth in OLED over the next decade – the highest growth sector in the OLED market overall.

With the body and exterior of automobiles also developing at such a fast pace, it is important that the interior keeps up without constraint.

We can’t wait to follow this exciting sector into even more ground breaking territories such as autonomous self-driving cars, where we’re sure the future will be flexible.