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:

    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).

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

    Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive, PMOLED 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 July 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!

    Audi reveals its 2021 Q5 SUV, with optional OLED taillights

    Audi unveiled its 2021 Q5 crossover, which now includes optional OLED taillights. The new SUV family also includes a plug-in hybrid model and the sporty SQ5 variant.

    Audi Q5 2021 photo

    The OLED taillights are built from three OLED panels, each with six segments. Audi offers three different "signatures" or designs, which the customers can choose from when buying the Q5. The segmented OLEDs show different lighting patterns with locking and unlocking the SUV, or to show a welcome pattern when you are close to the car.

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

    Today we published new versions of our market reports - that cover the flexible, VR/AR, microdisplays, automotive, PMOLED 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 April 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!

    Cadillac unveiled the 2021 Escalade with its 38-inch LGD P-OLED display

    In December 2019 Cadillac announced that its 2021 Escalade will sport a 38-inch curved OLED display. Rumors suggested that LG is the producer of this display, and indeed Cadillac now unveiled the car and its next-generation display - and LG confirmed that this is indeed its P-OLED screen.

    The displays, which will come standard on all 2021 Escalade versions, include an instrument cluster and infotainment systems, and enable several customizable displays which include AR navigation and night vision modes. There are actually three different displays - from left to right a 7" display, an 14" one and a 16.9" display. The center 14" is the instrument cluster and it is not-touch enabled (the other two do include touch).

    LG Display plans to ship over 6 million OLED TV panels in 2020, says first pOLED-equipped car to launch in Q2 2020

    LG Display says that it aims to ship over 6 million OLED TV panels in 2020 - that's double what it shipped in 2019. The company also says that it expects its Guangzhou fab starts mass producing panels in Q1 2020, earlier than previous estimated.

    LG OLED CX photo

    Previous estimates, by LG and others, were for around 5.5 million panels in 2020, even before the Guangzhou fab delays. It's possible that LG aims to ship more panels - but some of these will be smaller in size (the new 48-inch panels the company is starting to produce).

    Atomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processesAtomic Force Microscopy for next-gen OLED processes