OLED is a light-emitting technology used to create thin, efficient and flexible displays and lighting panels. OLEDs are useful in many applications, such as TVs, smartphones, wearables, laptops - and also automotive displays and lighting solutions.
Where can you OLEDs in cars?
There are several possible (and existing!) applications for OLED displays and lighting systems in cars:
- Dashboard displays (instrument clusters, navigation, media, HVAC...)
- Heads up displays
- Internal lighting
- External lighting (tail lights, turn indicators)
- Digital rear-view internal mirrors
- And more application we cannot think about today!
OLED displays for cars today
Several car models already use OLED displays today. Simple PMOLED displays have been adopted by automotive makers for many years, for example the Lexus 2010 RX for example has a white OLED display, supplementing the main 8" display.
Starting in 2021, automotive makers started to also adopt AMOLED displays in premium cars. The 2021 Mercedes S-Class for example comes standard with a 12.8-inch OLED, and the 2021 Cadillac Escalade sports a large 38-inch LGD P-OLED display (made from several displays).
We expect this trend to continue, as OLED makers such as LGD, SDC, BOE and others accelerate automotive AMOLED development.
OLED lighting in cars
The automotive market is one of the most interesting markets for OLED lighting, and many believe this will be one of the first markets to adopt the next generation lighting technology. In 2016 Audi unveiled the 2016 TT RS, which sports optional OLED taillights - the first commercial car to sport the new lighting technology. Since then several models from Audi, BMW, Hongqi, Mercedes and others have adopted OLED lighting panels.
OLED-Info's Automotive OLEDs Market Report
If you're interested in this market, check out our market report on Automotive OLEDs. The report discusses the current OLED display and lighting automotive markets, with a complete list of OLED display and lighting makers that are involved with the automotive market, with personal contact details. Our market report is updated quarterly.
The OLED Automotive Market Report explains:
- What kind of OLED displays are currently adopted in cars
- Why OLED lighting is exciting for car makers
- The future of Automotive OLED display
- OLED concepts and forecasts by BMW, Audi and others
The latest automotive OLED news:
BOE is showing a new flexible and transparent display prototype at SID Displayweek, this is something we did not see for several years.
The display on show is a 12.5" panel that offers a transmittance of up to 45%. The brightness is 700 nits, and the pixel density is 80 PPI. BOE says it developed a unique pixel scheme to enable the transparency of this display.
Samsung Display unveils new OLED displays at SID Displayweek 2022. First up is the Flex G flexible display, which folds inwards twice, and the Flex S, that can fold both inwards and outwards.
Samsung is also new rollable displays - a 6.7" slidable display that can expand and a larger 12.4" slidable OLED that can expand from both ends. When close, the display is 8.1" in size.
OLED driver IC developer MagnaChip started shipping OLED display drivers in 2007, and the company announced yesterday that it has shipped over 730 million units since.
MagnaChip recently expanded its business area into new markets such as foldable smartphones, automotive displays and OLED TVs. The company expects the OLED DDIC market to grow rapidly in the next new years and quotes Omdia's estimate of 1.2 billion OLED panels shipped in 2028.
Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q1 2022. Revenues hit a new record of 77.78 trillion Won ($61.2 billion USD) and the operating profit was 14.12 trillion Won ($11 billion USD).
Samsung Display's revenues were 7.97 trillion Won ($6.3 billion USD) with an operating profit of 1.09 trillion Won ($900 million USD). Samsung says its mobile display earnings improved from 2021, led by strong demand for OLED smartphone displays and growing adoption of OLED displays in laptops and gaming devices.
OLEDWorks announced that it is the supplier of the digital OLED rear lights adopted by Audi in its 2022 A8 and S8 cars. These OLEDs are now standard in the new A8.
Customers can choose one of two light signatures on the A8 (the S8 offers three possible signatures). Audi says it will deliver the first cars in Q2 2022.
The OLED lighting market is still in its very early stages – as currently commercial shipments mostly consist of premium lamps and installations, and the industry target niche applications - such as commercial lighting, health-related solutions and the automotive industry.
OLEDs offer several unique advantages to the automotive market, and it's also a market with defined premium cars that can be used for early adoption of high cost technology. In the past few years, we've seen several car makers (including Audi, Mercedes and BMW) that started to adopt OLED lighting in car taillights. Initial adoption was for optional modules, but today several car models come with OLED lighting as standard. OLED lighting can be used for several applications within the automotive market.
Back in 2020 we reported that Apple is worried about lifetime and burn-in issues in AMOLED displays in tablet applications, and Apple decided to adopt a tandem OLED architecture in the displays it will eventually adopt in future iPad devices.
LG Display already developed such panels for automotive applications, and according to reports it is developing a tandem LTPO AMOLED display for Apple, aiming to supply these to Apple at around 2024. According to a new report, Samsung Display has launched a project to develop tandem OLED panels as it also hopes to supply panels for Apple's future iPads.
Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the transparent, PMOLED, microdisplays and automotive OLED markets. OLED-Info provides comprehensive niche OLED market reports, and our reports cover everything you need to know about the niche market, and can be useful if you want to understand how the OLED industry works and what this technology can provide for your own industry. The reports are now updated to January 2022.
- The advantages of OLED and MicroLED microdisplays
- Information on all companies involved in this market
- What kind of displays are available on the market today
- Future technologies and roadmaps
The report package also provides a complete list of OLED and microLED microdisplays makers and their current (and future) products, and personal contact details into the leading microdisplays makers. Read more here!
The 2022 Mercedes EQE electric car comes with either a 12.8-inch AMOLED or (optionally) Mercedes' MBUX Hyperscreen. The Hyperscreen is a 56-inch display, actually made from three different OLED units, embedded in a single glass display. There's a central 17.7-inch panel plus two 12.3-inch panels. The 56-inch glass also includes holes for the air-vents which are integrated into the display.
The MBUX Hyperscreen was first used in the higher-end EQS electric car. The 'lower-end' 12.8-inch AMOLED screen, shown below, is used in the 2021 S-class cars. We speculated that LG Display is supplier to Mercedes (the two companies have been working together since around 2016) and LG Display earlier this week officially confirmed that it is indeed Mercedes' OLED supplier.
Construction equipment maker Doosan Bobcat is showing a new electric excavator concept that features a see-through AR windshield display that is based on a transparent OLED.
Bobcat's E35e concept uses LGD's 55" FHD transparent OLED to overlay information for the operator, such as the location and conditions of a construction site. The display is touch enabled so the operator can perform functions through the display, and even control other excavators from a distance.