New 3D displays being developed for automotive applications could eventually find their way onto air taxis, too.
That’s according to Bosch, which is creating display products with realistic three-dimensional effects, meant to help drivers grasp critical information faster. “The passive 3D technology that Bosch is using can be used in all kinds of displays and use cases,” a Bosch spokesperson told eVTOL.com by email. “Therefore, this technology can also be used in other mobile applications such as air taxis.”
According to Dr. Steffen Berns, president of Bosch Car Multimedia, “displays are increasingly becoming interactive systems that can better anticipate drivers’ individual needs.” Bosch’s passive 3D displays — which do not require eye tracking or 3D glasses — provide a more effective way of conveying important information, such as traffic and safety alerts, he said.
“Alerts that seem to jump out of the display are much more obvious and urgent,” Berns pointed out. Bosch suggested that the 3D effect could also make navigation in urban environments easier and more intuitive, stating that “when navigating street canyons . . . the spatial depth of the map display makes it immediately clear which building marks the next turn.”
Any of these functions could also aid eVTOL pilots, particularly as the industry looks to simplify vehicle operations to reduce pilot training requirements. Fly-by-wire technology and artificial intelligence promise to revolutionize the role of the pilot, opening the door to new forms of flight controls and displays. According to Bosch, “especially when the drivers of the future let their autopilot do the driving, the human-machine interface will be crucially significant for the interaction between the car and its driver,” and that will likely be true for future aircraft, too.
Of course, any 3D displays developed for use in aircraft would need to meet rigorous certification requirements for safety and reliability. Certifying such a display could potentially be a lengthy and expensive process, although Bosch noted that it already tests to standards that are far higher than those for consumer electronics.
“For example, car displays have to work perfectly whether the temperature is minus 40 or plus 120 degrees, and this over the vehicle’s entire service life,” the company said. “Even in the event of partial failure, drivers have to be able to rely on a minimum amount of vital information at all times.”
Bosch has a strong motivation for investing in display technology: based on forecasts from Global Market Insights, the company anticipates that the global vehicle display market will double from $15 billion (13.4 billion euros) to $30 billion (26.7 billion euros) by 2025. With the eVTOL industry already drawing heavily on lessons and technology from the automotive world, this could be another instance in which tomorrow’s air taxis benefit from automotive investment.