Article last updated on: Dec 28, 2021

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.

Mercedes EQE 350 2022, interior photo

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).

    2021 Cadillac Escalade OLED display photo



    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

    Read more here!

    The latest automotive OLED news:

    Mini shows a new EV concept with a large round OLED display, to adopt it in future cars

    British car maker Mini unveiled a new concept EV, called the Aceman, that features several new technologies such as a LED Matrix displays, an internal projector that shows designs on the dashboard, and more.

    MINI Aceman circular OLED display photo

    The Mini Aceman also includes a large round AMOLED display, which is the main (and only, it seems) display in the car. According to Mini, this same display will be used in future production EVs. Hopefully we will have more information on this new display soon.

    Samsung reports its financial results for Q2 2022, with excellent earnings from SDC, confirms it is developing microdisplay technologies

    Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q2 2022, with record second-quarter revenues of 77.2 trillion Won ($59 billion USD).

    Samsung Display reported record second-quarter revenue and operating profit for mobile displays driven by solid demand from major customers. Samsung specifically mentions the growth in its laptop OLED business. Performance in the large panel business was weaker due to initial ramp-up costs of Samsung's QD-OLED displays, and a decline in LCD prices.

    Omdia sees almost 6 million OLED automotive panels shipped in 2028

    Market research firm Omdia sees higher demand for OLED solutions for the automotive sector. Omdia says shipments of OLED panels will grow from around 500,000 units in 2022 to almost 6 million units by 2028.

    Automotive OLED shipments by applications (Omdia, 2021-2028)

    Currently most automotive makers that use OLEDs adopt flexible panels, but Omdia actually sees the adoption of rigid glass-based OLEDs (single stack) growing faster than that of flexible OLEDs (tandem stack), and by 2027 the share of rigid automotive OLEDs will be higher than that of flexible ones. This is an interesting forecast.

    SAIC's Zhiji L7 uses a 12.8" AMOLED produced by Everdisplay

    In 2021, China-based SAIC launched the Zhiji L7, an electric sports sedan that offered 615-1,000 Km range (depending on the model), wireless charging, side-view mirrors semi-autonomous driving.

    SAIC Zhiji L7 interior

    The Zhiji L7 has a center AMOLED display produced by China's Everdisplay. This is a 12.8" 1728x1888 automotive-grade AMOLED, that offers a lifetime of over 10,000 hours (LT80).

    Samsung to supply 5 million automotive AMOLED displays to BMW

    According to reports, Samsung Display has been chosen by BMW to supply it with AMOLED displays for the company's high-end sedans. BMW will start adopting Samsung's AMOLEDs in 2024 and will buy a total of 4 million displays in about 6-7 years. We do not have any information regarding the display size and features.

    Samsung Display automotive AMOLED display

    Samsung has been a relative late comer to the automotive AMOLED market (the clear leader today is LG Display), and this is an important design win for the company. Samsung also supplied rear-view mirror displays for Hyundai's Ioniq 5 EV and for Audi's e-tron SUVs, but both these systems were optional and the BMW deal is the first major one for Samsung.

    Here is BOE's 12.5" flexible transparent OLED display prototype

    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 shows its latest OLED displays at SID Displayweek 2022

    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.

    Samasung Display flexible (S and G) OLED prototpyes, SID Displayweek 2022

    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.

    Magnachip says it shipped over 730 million OLED drivers since 2007

    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 DDIC OLED TV ICs photo

    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 Display reports $6.3 billion in revenue in Q1 2022

    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).

    Alienware AW3423DW photo

    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.

    Merck - Advancing Display, Advancing LifeMerck - Advancing Display, Advancing Life