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:

    Metalgrass offers a discounted yearly market reports package

    Metalgrass (OLED-Info) is now offering a new subscription service for enterprises that want access to our complete collection of market reports.

    Metalgrass market reports package subscription - photo

    For $3,500 per year, you will get an Enterprise License to all of our market reports. Metalgrass currently offers 12 market reports, plus 4 handbook guides, and all of these are included in the subscription (bought separately, these will cost over $10,000!). You will also have access to all new reports, updates and guides released in the future (during the yearly subscription period).

    Our Enterprise License gives access to your entire organization: you can share the report with all the company employees via mail, shared server or any other digital way.

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

    LGD sees the transparent OLED market growing to $8.5 billion by 2031

    In February 2019 LG Display started producing its 55" FHD 38% transparent commercial OLED displays, and the company recently announced several projects that utilize its 55" transparent OLED displays - on subway train windows in China, in Seoul's Trade Tower parking and in an unmanned coffee shop in Singapore.

    Cho Min-woo, head of LG Display’s Transparent OLED business, says that LG's is just "sowing seeds" in this market, which it expects to grow quickly. In fact, LG Display, together with a global consulting firm, looked into the potential of transparent OLED displays, and estimated that the market will grow to around $8.5 billion in the next 10 years.

    LG Display announces a collaboration with smart glass developer Gauzy to enhance its transparent OLED displays

    LG Display announces a collaboration with smart glass developer Gauzy. The two companies will showcase 55-inch FHD transparent OLED displays at the International Motor Show (IAA) 2021 (which started yesterday in Munich, Germany).

    LG Display's transparent OLED display at Gauzy's IAA2021 booth

    LG Display will cooperate with Gauzy to replace windows in various types of transportation vehicles to enable smart and dynamic transparent displays.

    Mercedes unveiled its 2022 EQE-350 EV, with internal OLED displays

    Mercedes has unveiled its 2022 EQE electric car, which is an E-Class Sedan. The car offers a 90kW battery (660 Km range) and the display will either be a 12.8-inch AMOLED or (optionally) Mercedes' MBUX Hyperscreen. The EQE 350 will start selling in mid-2022.

    Mercedes EQE 350 2022, interior photo

    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.

    Reports suggest there is increased interest in LG's transparent OLED displays for trains and buses

    In August LG announced that it has supplied transparent 55" OLED panels that are installed on subway train windows, in Beijing (Line 6) and Shenzhen (Line 10), and later on in Fuzhou as well.

    A new report from Korea says that the East Japan Railway Company (JR East) has tested LG's transparent OLEDs and will deploy it in some of its trains. It is reported that LG gets more and more inquires on its transparent OLED solutions from both train and bus companies from Europe and North America.

    OLED developments at the IIT's FlexE Center

    The National Center for Flexible Electronics (FlexE) was established in 2014 as a Centre of Excellence at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Kanpur. The vision of the center is to "catalyse the development of domestic industry in the field of large area flexible electronics".

    OLED lighting prototypes, FlexE Center

    The FlexE center has some interesting OLED projects, and we recently had a discussion with researchers from the center to learn more about the OLED R&D activities.

    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.

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