An auto-engineering company from Germany has built a prototype car that uses OLED displays on its front and back windshields, the better to communicate with surrounding vehicles.
EDAG’s ‘Light Car – Open Source’ car is based on the same principle used by phone manufacturers when replacing the physical buttons of their UI. That is, a display can have easily customizable inputs and can increase the surface area for dynamic media. In the case of the Light Car, the OLED screen can display road conditions and, when you tap on the brake or stop, a giant ‘stop’ sign will appear in the back windshield and warn the car behind.
In this first design, the glass panel OLED displays in the front of the car outline, or enhance, the area where the LED headlights blast out. In the back, a transparent tailgate is built on top of the OLED screen, as can be seen in the pictures below.
EDAG’s big idea is that in the process of buying a car similar to this one, you could configure the shape of your headlights, so that the OLED effects can be created accordingly around it, on a computer. So if you’re a big S.F. Giants baseball fan and you’re heading to the Park to watch Barry Zito play, for example, you could plug in little digital dollar signs surrounding the headlights. Or not. That might be too cruel and distracting to drivers.
Apparently, EDAG does not intend to make the LC-OS. They want to sell or share the technology to big car manufacturers so they can be put in the streets faster, hopefully within the next two or three years.
It’s true that if you’re a careful driver, adding OLED displays shouldn’t make that much a of a difference. After all, we’ve adapted to look for two fading red lights in the back of cars for years.
But this could help out people who don’t see as well. In other words, people who shouldn’t be driving in the first place.