Samsung wants to turn your next smart car’s cabin into a digital cockpit. At CES 2021, the South Korea-based manufacturer is showcasing a concept tech that imagines equipping smart cars with a bunch of swiveling screens and of course, 5G connectivity.
Simply called the Digital Cockpit, the new tech is Samsung’s attempt at securing a spot in the next generation wave of smart and largely driverless cars. The group of wide, high-res displays lets you do all sorts of tasks you wouldn’t normally expect from the cramped interior of your vehicle like turning it into a mobile office, watch movies and play games on a panoramic 49-inch screen, and more.
The Samsung Digital Cockpit also replaces most of the traditional inputs with adaptive touchscreens. In the center of the steering wheel, an 8.8-inch LCD sits instead of physical buttons for honking or activating turn signals. At the top-center of the windshield, you’ll find another display that dynamically renders vital information from a set of four external cameras to assist you, for instance, while parking. Plus, Samsung plans to add a display out front that can be employed to display messages for pedestrians.
That’s not all. The Digital Cockpit-powered vehicle will even come fitted with an “out-cabin” screen at the back that allows you to watch and stream content from outside for when you are, say, camping. With the help of a range of in-cabin cameras and sensors, Samsung says it can also sense passengers’ stress levels and moods to automatically toggle the car’s lighting, scent, music, and more.
The presence of 5G would enable passengers to attend video conferences and stream content but alternatively, you can even plug in a Samsung phone through DeX to pretty much turn one of the screens into a computer.
Most of these screens, Samsung adds, will be able to shift depending on when the car’s in transit or parked. But that’s, of course, one too many displays for a car cabin — which does present a safety risk.
However, with automobile manufacturers increasingly investing in driverless cars, tech companies have rushed to reimagine the role of the cabin and how they can fill your drive time. We’ve already seen instances of this shift in cars like the ones from Tesla whose large, central touchscreens let you watch movies or play games when you’re in autopilot mode.
Technologies like the Samsung Digital Cockpit are, though, still a few years in the future and you can expect more of such solutions at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show.