Ford’s EcoGauge may be a slick piece of dashboard technology, but supplier Icon Incar and graphics firm NVIDIA may have something that gives the cluster a run for its money. The two companies have created what may be the world’s first three-dimensional digital instrument cluster.
Although the cluster shown is a proof-of-concept, its nature reportedly allows it to be designed and crafted in various manners. This particular example is described as being “a built-in, flexible digital solution,” and melds modern displays with a retro-style speedometer.
In addition to displaying vehicular information, the cluster was designed to manage a vehicle’s communication, navigation and entertainment systems. Using the digital 3-D cluster to manage a vehicle’s navigation system means that it could be possible to allow a person to see a scale 3-D image of the route, giving the driver true depth perception as to where an upcoming turn is.
Depending on how customizable the gauge cluster will be for consumers, it could prove to be an enthusiast’s (or techno-geek’s) dream. We can easily imagine the driver could program the cluster to visualize various performance data (e.g. g-forces, boost pressure, elapsed times, etc.), much like the center display on our Four Seasons Nissan GT-R.
Icon Incar developed the connectivity feature on Audi’s A1 concept, which is similar to the navigation system featured on Chrysler’s 200C EV concept. The system allows the driver to use a mobile phone as a car key, audio and video player through the vehicle, and as an address-entry tool for the navigation. The supplier has talked about programming its new cluster to allow users to utilize this feature.