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:

    Yeolight shows new automotive OLED taillight prototypes, based on flexible and triangular panels

    China-based OLED lighting developer Yeolight Technology published two new videos that demonstrate the company's latest OLED technologies. You can see the company's segmented triangular based modules, and also a module based on flexible red panels:

    The triangular-based OLED, which the company refers to as digital OLED taillight (it reminds us of Audi's technology, produced by OLEDWorks, which goes by the same name), uses modules that use 50 segments (each a right-angled triangle with an area of 19 mm2). We do not have any information on the flexible panels.

    OLED-Info overhauls its Automotive OLED Market Report

    In early July, we published our quarterly update for our Automotive OLED Market Report. The update this time was comprehensive, as we overhauled the complete report.

    The OLED Automotive market is heating up. AMOLED displays (mostly flexible ones) are finally being adopted by commercial cars, while OLED lighting panels continue to be designed into high-end automotive taillights as the ultimate lighting solution.

    OLED-Info's OLED Market Reports updated to July 2021

    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 July 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!

    OLEDWorks receives an SBIR grant to develop stacked OLED lighting technologies

    OLED lighting developer OLEDWorks announced that was awarded with a new US federal SBIR grant to develop OLED technologies.

    Under this new project, OLEDWorks will develop new OLED automotive taillights composed of multiple stacked layers of red and white OLEDs. This technology can also be applied to indoor lighting to provide greater efficiency, a broader intensity range, and the ability to communicate safety information.

    Visionox shows new OLED technologies at SID Displayweek 2021

    Chinese OLED producer Visionox demonstrates several new OLED technologies at SID Displayweek 2021. We'll list some of these new achievements in this post, and you can see these in the video below.

    Visionox shows a 'dynamic' 12.3-inch rollable display which feature a 5 mm rolling radius. A 7.92" foldable (2 mm radius) wrap-around display solution. Visionox also demonstrates a 12.3" three-folded OLED that can fold inwards (2.5 mm radius) or outwards (6.5 mm) - to become a 5.4-inch display.

    Audi's latest EV concept, the A6 E-tron, uses OLED taillights

    Audi unveiled a new concept electric car, the A6 E-tron. This is a preview of Audi's EVs based on the Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architecture that Audi is co-developing with Porsche. These cars will start production in 2023.

    Audi A6 E-tron concept (2021)

    The new A6 E-tron has many interesting new technologies - and it also features OLED lighting panels in the tail lights. These lighting modules use 3D OLED clusters that can create "almost unlimited customisable variations of digital light signatures and dynamic lighting displays".

    OLED-Info's OLED Market Reports updated to April 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 April 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!

    BOE and Himax announce an electric vehicle design-win for a 12.8-inch flexible AMOLED

    Himax Technologies, together with BOE Varitronix (automotive display product supplier) announced that they secured a design-win with a leading new electric vehicle maker.

    The customer will soon launch a flagship automobile, which will sport a 12.8-inch flexible AMOLED center information display product. The new solution includes a flexible AMOLED display produced by BOE and a Himax AMOLED driver IC and timing controller system.

    JOLED starts mass producing inkjet-printed OLED displays under the OLEDIO brand

    JOLED announced that it has started to mass produce OLEDs at its new 5.5-Gen production line in Nomi, Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan. JOLED brands its new displays as OLEDIO displays. JOLED plans to produce 10- to 32-inch displays, targeting applications such as high-end monitors, automotive displays and medical monitors.

    LG UltraFine OLED Pro photo

    JOLED also branded its production technology, based on ink-jet printing, as TRIPRINT.

    Mercedes unveils the interior cabin of its upcoing EQS EV, with its unique 56-inch flexible OLED display

    A few months ago Mercedes announced that its upcoming EQS electric vehicle will adopt a large curved front display, 56-inch in size, called the MBUX Hyperscreen. Today the company unveiled the interior cabin of the EQS:

    Mercedes EQS interior photo

    The display is 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 whole AI-enabled system is powered by 8 CPU cores and 24 GB of RAM.