Massive tablet-sized digital screens mounted in the dashboards inside cars aren’t just for owners of high-end vehicles like Teslas anymore.
Volkswagen used the Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas, to unveil a 12.8-inch infotainment screen, the main display that powers its new MIB II system.
The screen is one of three digital displays — an 8-inch touchscreen controls climate, media and other options, while another 12.3-inch panel features the instrument panel.
Until now, such tablet-sized screens have largely been reserved for Tesla’s electric-powered sedan, while large displays also are found in Mercedes-Benz’s flagship sedan. But as prices of touchscreen displays come down, manufacturers are jumping at the change to make their vehicles a smarter mobile device — and one that includes many of the features consumers like through their smartphones and tablets.
The MIB II system is designed to pair up with most smartphones through Apple CarPlay, Google Android Auto and MirrorLink.
Through MirrorLink, apps and operating layouts of numerous smartphones (including Samsung, HTC, LG and Sony) appear on the infotainment systems of cars.
That should provide makers of entertainment apps more flexibility in how they get content to individuals on mobile devices.
Naturally, there are the requisite smart car offerings, like the ability to find empty parking spaces and determine faster routes to the office.
VW’s new infotainment system, rolling out later this year, will also integrate tablets and smart watches, while smartphones will be able to serve as digital keys for VW’s cars.
“The two inventions of the century, the car and the computer, are gradually coming closer together. We need to design future mobility to be even more intelligent and even more networked,” said Martin Winterkorn, CEO of Volkswagen AG.
The German automaker also is developing gesture controls for its fleet of vehicles, as well as cars that can get in and out of parking spaces on their own. VW also said it will eventually be possible to have the car parked by the driver remotely, using a smartphone to control the car.