Auto Tech

Automakers reimagine the dashboard at 2019's Frankfurt Motor Show

From large to small to none at all, we've rounded up the most interesting cockpits and dashboard displays of the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show.

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Byton's production-bound M-Byte is the new king of the big ol' displays.

Byton

As veterans of the auto show circuit, Roadshow's staff has seen its fair share of wacky concept car interiors with inconceivably massive displays. As a rule of thumb, most of what you see will never see production. At least, that was the rule. 

At the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, the inconceivable has become reality with a number of honest-to-God production vehicles debuting with large and complex dashboard setups. Meanwhile, the concept screens are shrinking or being rethought in very interesting ways. The dashboard, it seems, is evolving.

The obvious poster child of the big-ass screen is the Byton M-Byte with its massive, gesture-controlled 48-inch display and the two smaller, 8-inch "driver tablets" that control it. And Byton isn't alone. Honda's cute E electric hatchback features a total of five displays that stretch from pillar to pillar across its entire dashboard. Porsche's Taycan has an optional passenger display that allows touchscreen control for someone riding shotgun.

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On the concept side, Mercedes-Benz's Vision EQS's dashboard seems tame by comparison, with its reasonably sized center display -- until you realize that the automaker has added additional secondary displays on the doors. Meanwhile, Audi's AI:Trail barely has a display to speak of. Instead, the concept expects drivers' docked mobile phone to serve as the dashboard, while the airy, open cockpit allows drivers to enjoy nature.

While the Audi's screenless cabin is refreshing, we'll likely see more displays in the cars of the future and more innovations in the kinds of screens used. We took a look at Bosch's new 3D automotive display technology, which is able to display three-dimensional imagery without the need for eye-tracking cameras or special glasses. The eye-popping graphics could be used to enhance functions like augmented reality navigation or to draw the driver's eye to important warnings. Plus, it looks amazingly sharp, even when viewed off-axis.

With pie-in-the-sky concepts and saleable production cars alike, automakers are rethinking and redefining the dashboard and the screens that fill it. Give the video above a watch to see the aforementioned dashboard displays in action, and check out the rest of Roadshow's coverage of the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show for even more concepts and debuts.