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.
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).
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
The latest automotive OLED news:
Buick announces a new electric car with a 30-inch 6K OLED display
Buick announced a new electric vehicle in China, the Electra E5, based on General Motors' Ultium architecture. The new crossover offers a curved 30" 6K OLED display.
Buick did not release a lot of information on the new car, and we do not know whether it will be available in China only, or will also be released globally. The car will start shipping by the end of 2023.
DSCC says demand for smartphone and TV OLED displays will decline by 24% in the next quarter
DSCC says that OLED panel revenues were $12.6 billion in Q4 2022, down 3% from Q4 2021. Shipments declined by 7% compared to last year.
For the full year 2022, revenues reached $41.7 billion, a 1% decrease from 2021. AMOLED for smartphones shipments (units) decreased by 1%, while OLED TV panel shipments decreased by 9%. Some OLED segments grew in 2022 - AR/RV, automotive, monitors, and tablets.
DSCC sees fast growth ahead for automotive OLED displays
DSCC says that even though the display market is facing difficult market conditions, the automotive displays segment is expected to continue growing, and total shipments (both LCDs and OLEDs) are expected to exceed 200 million panels (an average of over 2 displays per car).
OLEDs are still a small percentage of the market (less than 0.5%, in fact), but OLEDs will gradually penetrate high-end applications for flagship models, as OLED makers adopt flexible and tandem-architecture technologies.
OLEDWorks shows new flexible and rigid automotive OLED lighting solutions
Last week at CES, OLEDWorks demonstrated some of its latest automotive OLED Lighting solutions. Developed together with Corning, Valeo and STMicroelectronics, OLEDWorks’ newest demonstrator contained the highest density of individually addressable segments of any flexible OLED panel.
You can see the new flexible OLED demonstrator in the video above on the left (the device on the right uses rigid OLED panels). OLEDWorks says that individually segmented OLED lighting panels increase safety on the road by allowing for improved communication through dynamic animation sequences and symbols. Manufacturing these OLED panels on flexible glass further expands lighting design opportunities with the ability to conform with curved surfaces in the car, integrating lighting directly into the vehicle’s architecture.
LG Display shows its latest OLED displays at CES 2023
LG Display has an impressive presence at CES 2023, showing many OLED displays, products and prototypes.
The video above starts with LG's automotive displays, which include new 18" slidable OLEDs and some more OLED and LCD displays.
Nio unveil two new EV SUVs, both with 12.8" AMOLED infotainment displays
China-based EV car maker Nio unveiled two new SUVs, the EC7 and ES8 Prime, and both of them have a large 12.8" infotainment AMOLED touch display. The EC7 is a new coupe SUV, while the ES8 Prime is refresh to Nio's existing six-seater SUV.
The two new cars also adopt several new technologies (such as new LIDAR sensors, electrochromatic panoramic glass room and more) and adopt many new aerodynamic improvement to increase the driving range.
UBI Research: medium and large OLED shipments to grow from 26.1 million units in 2022 to almost 70 million in 2027
UBI Research says that shipments of medium and large area OLED panels (which the company defines as 10 inches and up) will reach 26.1 million units in 2022. The market is set for fast growth, and shipments will reach 69.5 million units by 2027.
The main application by revenue will be TV panels, over the whole projected period, and OLED TV panel shipments will reach 14.8 million units in 2027, and generate $9.18 billion in sales.
Yeolight shows new automotive OLED lighting prototypes
Yeolight showed several new OLED lighting taillights designs at the Automotive Lighting Exhibition in Shanghai. In the video below you can see the various prototypes.
Some of these displays seem very impressive, with a large amount of panels. The full-length taillights have 1,434 OLED panels in different shapes and sizes, and support multiple dynamic effects.
Samsung reports its Q3 2022 financial results
Samsung Electronics reported its financial results for Q3 2022, with its highest quarterly revenue ever (76.78 trillion Won, or $54 billion USD) and an operating profit of 10.85 trillion won ($7.7 billion USD), down 23% from the previous quarter.
Samsung Display saw record revenues (9.39 trillion Won) as demand increased for its OLED mobile panel business following the release of new flagship smartphones. The company expects to see continued strong demand for premium OLED displays.
LG Display is considering building a new automotive OLED production line
According to reports in Korea, LG Display is thinking about building a new automotive OLED production line, at its now-closed LCD P4.5 production site in Gumi, Korea.
It is not clear what is LGD's current status with this project, as one reports suggests LGD has already started to order equipment, while another says the design of the new fab is not complete yet, and that LGD did not make a final decision.