Article last updated on: Jan 30, 2019

OLED is a new display and lighting technology - used to create thin, efficient and bright displays and lighting panels. OLEDs can be made flexible, and transparent, and so open the way for new, exciting display applications. One of the possible markets for OLEDs is the automotive industry.

LGD 12.3'' P-OLED automotive concept

Where will OLED be used in future cars?

We can see several applications for OLED displays and lighting systems in cars:

  • Dashboard displays (instrument clusters, navigation, media)
  • Heads up displays
  • Internal lighting
  • External lighting (tail lights, turn indicators)
  • Digital rear-view internal mirrors
  • More application we cannot think about today!

    OLED displays for cars today

    Currently we know of several car models that use PMOLED displays in the dashboard. The Lexus 2010 RX for example has a white OLED display, supplementing the main 8" display.

    Some new car concepts are using flexible OLEDs, trying to innovate car displays. LG Display is developing FHD 12.3" curved plastic-based flexible OLEDs, and the company is collaborating with Tesla, Cadillac and Mercedes, promising to start producing those display commercially by 2018.

    Samsung is also developing OLEDs for automotive - including flexible ones and transparent/mirror OLEDs. In 2016 Samsung unveiled several 7" prototype displays, and in 2018 Samsung demonstrated its latest automotive OLEDs, including large rollable and curved displays.

    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. Audi says that the 2017 A8 will sport OLED taillights and OLED displays.

    BMW's M4 GTS car uses OLED taillights as well, but this car will only be produced in a very limited quantities. Still BMW said several times that OLEDs may well become the lighting technology of choice due to OLED's flexilibility, efficiency and homogeneity.

    Daimler's 2011 Smart Forvision concept EV uses transparent hybrid solar-OLED panels on the roof. Those hexagonal see-through panels generate energy during the day and provide internal lighting during the night. This is an old concept, but still a very interesting one:

    Daimler Smart Forvision photo

    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.

    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

    Read more here!

    The latest automotive OLED news:

    NIO introduces its latest EV, the ET7, with a 12.8-inch AMOLED

    Chinese EV producer NIO introduced its latest electric car, the ET7, which will come with a 12.8-inch 1728x1888 AMOLED display.

    NIO ET7 interior photo

    The ET7 includes other innovative technologies, such as AI, over 11 cameras and sensors integrated into the body, advanced driver assistance and autonomous driving platform and a 600 miles driving range. The ET7 will sell in China and Europe.

    OLED-Info's transparent, microdisplays, foldable, flexible and automotive OLED market reports updated to January 2021

    Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, 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 2021.

    The OLED and MicroLED Microdisplays Market Report:

    • 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!

    Mercedes' upcoming EVs to use a 56-inch flexible OLED display

    Mercedes announced that its upcoming EQS electric vehicle will adopt a large curved front display, 56-inch in size, called the MBUX Hyperscreen.

    Mercedes 56'' MBUX Hyperscreen photo

    This is a flexible OLED display, that will stretch over the entire width of the car. Note that the OLED itself is not 56-inch in size, this display embeds what seems to be 3 different OLED displays. The 56-inch glass also includes holes for the air-vents which are integrated into the display. The whole system is powered by 8 CPU cores, 24 GB of RAM and AI software that learns your habits.

    Apple aims to adopt tandem OLEDs in its next iPad Pro tablets

    In a very interesting post, The Elec states that Apple has reached out to both Samsung Display and LG Display, requesting that the display suppliers develop a longer-lifetime OLED display for Apple's next iPad Pro devices.

    LG 12.8-inch P-OLED in Mercedes Benz 2021 S-Class

    The lifetime of the current crop of mobile OLED devices is not enough for Apple's iPad - which is designed to be used for a longer period of time compared to a smartphone. An increased lifetime will also result in lower burn-in problems which seem to trouble Apple.

    Yeolight shows a new segmented OLED automotive taillight prototype, transparent segmented OLED display

    China-based OLED lighting developer Yeolight Technology started developing automotive OLED lighting technologies back in 2017, and earlier this year it announced that the Hongqi H9 Sedan, which launched in China, uses the company's OLED taillights. At the 2020 Shanghai International Automobile Lighting Exhibition the company demonstrated a new OLED automotive taillight prototype, called E-Light:

    The OLED lighting module, which is shaped like a triangle, uses 50 segments each a right-angled triangle with an area of 19 mm2. The segments are created by photolithography with an accuracy of <10 microns and can be controlled independently with 7 different brightness steps. The controller is a STMicroelectronics L99LDLH32 chip. The complete lighting module setup on display uses 9 such pieces for a total of 450 segments. The whole thickness of each module is 1.8 mm.

    OLED-Info's foldable, flexible, VR/AR, transparent, microdisplays, automotive and graphene OLED market reports updated to October 2020

    Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive and graphene 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 October 2020.

    The Flexible and Foldable OLED Market Report:

    • Why flexible displays and lighting panels are so exciting
    • What kind of flexible displays are currently on the market
    • All about the foldable OLED market and industry
    • What the future holds for flexible OLEDs
    • How to acquire flexible OLEDs for your products

    The report package provides a good introduction to the flexible and foldable OLED market - present and future. It details both flexible displays and lighting technologies. Read more here!

    Hyundai puts a 77-inch OLED in its Ioniq EV concept cabin

    Hyundai unveiled a new Ioniq EV concept cabin, which includes several new technology. The new cabin design was made in collaboration with LG Electronics, and includes a 77-inch curved OLED display on the ceiling.

    Hyundai Ioniq EV concept cabin photo

    The new cabin also includes other innovative technologies, such as automatic shoe cleaning and cloth cleaning - and even includes a floor cleaning robot.

    The Hongqi H9 Sedan launches in China with OLED taillights made by Yeolight

    China-based OLED lighting developer Yeolight Technology announced that its OLED panels were adopted by Hongqi in its latest H9 flagship sedan which is now being launched in the Chinese market. Hongqi is owned by FAW Car company and is actually the oldest Chinese passenger car brand.

    The H9 uses 4 red OLED panels in each module. The panels are 131x32 mm in size and have 5 segments each. The color coordinate is CIY(0.69, 0.31).

    BOE unveils automotive OLED tail light solution

    At SID Displayweek 2020, BOE demonstrated an OLED automotive taillight module, developed in collaboration with "automotive makers" which BOE did not detail.

    The red OLED taillights from BOE offer up to 2,000 nits in brightness and a lifetime of over 20,000 hours. The panels are less than 0.3 mm thick and will operate in a wide temperature range (-40 to 95 Celsius).