LG’s 'smartphones on wheels' is an exciting glimpse into the future of the car

LG Display
(Image credit: LG)

From Tesla’s massive dashboard tablet to infotainment systems popping up in numerous new cars, screens are taking over the driving experience, and Software-Defined Vehicles (SDVs) are becoming the default. And for CES 2024, LG Display is bringing the next big innovation in this area.

Coming to the big event, the company will drop its take on the “smartphones on wheels” concept — providing a full-width dashboard display in the front, and two foldable screens in the back, which come with a huge safety feature to maintain driver concentration. 

Specific details are a little thin on the ground, given it’s a concept. But based on what’s described, LG is on the precipice of taking a huge step forward in automotive entertainment. Just imagine what this could do when paired with Microsoft and Tom Tom's new in-car AI!

The tech specs

LG Display

(Image credit: LG)

So, what’s LG bringing to the show? In their own words, there are “various large-sized automotive displays.” In the particular example, we see a vehicle’s dashboard completely covered in a giant screen. 

This takes advantage of LG Display’s various technologies like P-OLED for plastic substrates that increase flexibility, Advanced Thin OLED for not adding additional thickness to the dash, and LTPS (Low-Temperature Polycrystalline Silicon) LCD for a dynamic refresh rate.

You can see this flexibility used on the drop down displays in the back seat, where the company will be showing off a variety of slidable and foldable OLED panels that can be hidden away or made bigger when passengers want that additional screen real estate.

Keeping safety in mind

So, the obvious question here is what happens to potential driver distractions? If the front seat passenger is watching something on their side of the display, it could potentially catch the driver’s gaze. That is where Switchable Privacy Mode (SPM) comes into play, which diverts any content being watched on the passenger side.

This is done automatically when driving, and is a huge step forward for ensuring the passenger can enjoy themselves just as much as those sitting in the back, while maintaining driver focus. We’ll find out a lot more about how this is done (my bet is limiting viewing angles through the P-OLED technology), when we go eyes-on with LG’s new automotive innovation at CES.

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Jason England
Managing Editor — Computing

Jason brings a decade of tech and gaming journalism experience to his role as a Managing Editor of Computing at Tom's Guide. He has previously written for Laptop Mag, Tom's Hardware, Kotaku, Stuff and BBC Science Focus. In his spare time, you'll find Jason looking for good dogs to pet or thinking about eating pizza if he isn't already.