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Magneti Marelli Named a 2020 PACEpilot Award Honoree for its 3D Instrument Cluster Display

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【Summary】Automotive lighting manufacturer Magneti Marelli was recognized as a 2020 PACEpilot award honoree for its “Glasses-Free” 3D display technology. Marelli developed an “auto-stereoscopic” 3D screen technology (AS3D) that can be utilized in vehicle dashboard displays to simulate a 3D view of important driver information without the use of 3D glasses.

FutureCar Staff    Apr 28, 2020 2:00 PM PT
Magneti Marelli Named a 2020 PACEpilot Award Honoree for its 3D Instrument Cluster Display
Magneti Marelli's technology makes instrument cluster displays look like 3D using a lenticular lens overlay.

For the past 26 years, Automotive News has hosted its annual PACE Awards, which recognizes innovation and technological advances among the world's top automotive suppliers. Each category is judged by an independent panel of technologists. 

The PACE Awards was founded by Automotive News and Ernst & Young in 1995. Over the years, the Pace Awards have become recognized globally as a benchmark for innovation in the auto industry.

This year, the new companion PACEpilot Awards was added, which recognizes new innovative technologies being developed by auto suppliers and startups that have achieved the working pilot demonstration phase with their products, but have yet to commercialize them for sale. These new technologies in development are expected to make an impact in the auto industry in the future.

Magneti Marelli was among eleven companies recognized as a 2020 PACEpilot honoree. The company was recognized for its "Glasses-Free" 3D Display Technology. Merelli developed an "auto-stereoscopic" 3D screen technology (AS3D) that can be utilized for vehicle dashboard displays. The instrument cluster simulates a 3D view of important driver information without the use of 3D glasses.

Other Pacepilot honorees include automotive component supplier Continental, which was recognized for developing a "Virtual A-pillar" that uses a camera and display system that allows drivers to see through the vehicle's A-pillar as if it wasn't there.

3D dashboard displays might help drivers to keep their eyes on the road with a view of information that better catches their attention without requiring them to look away from the road.

Marelli developed its AS3D technology in partnership with Alioscopy, a French company known for developing 3D displays for digital signage. AS3D enables a 3D effect without the use of glasses, allowing the viewer to "perceive" depth through the naked eye using a special overlay.

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3D vehicle displays may increase driver attentiveness.

How it Works

Marelli's 3D display technology uses a specially designed lenticular lens that's laminated over a conventional instrumental panel display. The thin lenticular lens overlay, which consists of an array of tiny magnifying lenses, produces the 3D effect. The 3D displays are 50% less expensive than competitive solutions that use multiple displays to achieve the same 3D effect, according to the company.

Lenticular lens technology is also used in printing, to produce printed images with an illusion of depth or animation by changing the viewing angle, such as with 3D baseball cards that simulate animation when tilted. These types of sports cards were popular in the 1980's. It's also used for digital signage for advertising, where the view changes depending on the angle its being viewed from.

As vehicles become more complex and loaded with technology, automakers are working to develop displays and vehicle control systems that are simpler and more intuitive to use, thereby reducing driver distraction.

"This award is an honor for Marelli and specifically our innovation team," said Heinrich-Gerhard Schuering, CEO of Marelli's electronics business unit. "It is further proof that our investments in vehicle interior technology resonate and support the evolution of the cockpit. Marelli is focused on providing the best solutions to serve the market, by anticipating trends, leveraging our competences and forging partnerships to create value for OEMs worldwide."

The 3D technology has other applications other than vehicle dashboard displays. For example, the lenticular lens can be laminated on vehicle camera displays, such as those used for backup camera and parking assistance. With 3D technology, the cameras can virtually immerse the driver in the surrounding environment, so they can maneuver more easily and intuitively in tight spaces.

The benefits of 3D technology extends beyond the driver to self-driving vehicles. As automated driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous vehicle development progresses, the focus is on passengers. 

Automakers today are adding larger immersive display screens inside the vehicle to keep passengers entertained during their journey. The innovative 3D technology developed by Marelli can be used for infotainment systems or other screens throughout the cabin that display information to passengers.

The annual Pace Awards ceremony is normally a black tie event held the week of the SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) convention in Detroit. However with the recent coronavirus pandemic the 2020 awards were announced online for the first time.

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