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Virtual cockpit display

All information in driver’s field of vision

The latest Audi TT comes equipped with a novel display and operating concept: A display-based instrument cluster bundles all of the instrument, navigation, and multimedia information in the driver's field of vision.

The speedometer and tachometer have been shifted to the lower corners (Photo: Bosch)

THE HIGH-CONTRAST TFT DISPLAY features luminous intensity of 800 candela (cd) for readability under all light conditions. The screen has a diagonal size of 12,3 inch, a high resolution of 1440 x 540 pixel, and color depth of 24 bit. The display is shaped with the cropped corners corresponding to the installation space planned for the Audi TT and a housing molded to match. The instrument cluster is connected via CAN and MOST. Audi calls this driver-oriented concept the “Virtual Cockpit”. Bosch is the system supplier for this instrument cluster.

One of the advantages of a display-based instrument cluster is its versatility in displaying content. The Audi TT comes with two basic display modes: The traditional mode shows large, digitally produced round gages – there are no mechanical pointers or other moving parts. The second mode trims down the virtual round speedometer and tachometer and shifts them to the lower corners, leaving room for a navigation display, music selections or telephone connections. However, the system would permit other displays as well, allowing differences in various vehicle models.

Three-dimensional reproduction of objects

The display-based instrument cluster uses a dual-process architecture. One processor takes care of the graphics, while the other handles the remaining functions. Up to 60 frames per second can be generated so that fast changes are displayed in a seamless flow without any artifacts – an essential requirement for reflecting the specific driving dynamics of a sports car.

In addition, the available computer power is used for the three-dimensional display of objects on the monitor. According to Bosch, the most striking visual effect results from the spatial graphics of the round gages, including shadows, so that they appear to be almost real. The graphics module VCM (visual computing module) has been modified for use in the car.

The jury of the “Automotive Interiors Expo Awards 2014” has awarded the system first place in the category “Interior Innovation of the Year – Series Vehicles” in June 2014. Bosch also supplies radar and video sensors, lambda sensors, gasoline direct injection systems, and fuel pumping modules for the Audi TT.