The screens, those panels that have become essential in any self-respecting modern car, may have their days numbered. Although people love them, designers find them “a little stupid”. Although everything indicates that in the future its presence will be greater and more forceful, the head of DS design dreams of a future without them, he assures that it is what the French house is working on. Obviously this philosophy has not been applied in the release of the DS 7 update.
A few years ago, LCD screens and small monochrome displays ushered in an era that today is dominated by large, high-resolution panels and unabashedly sized. In a short time, digitization has gained weight for two main reasons: customers like it and it is much cheaper to develop for manufacturers. A physical button takes more time and money than a screen driven by an operating system where changes are measured in lines of code.
For brands, screens are a golden dream that allows them to reduce the presence of physical buttons. Integration is key, and in some cases digitization instead of helping disturbs driving due to problems with the operating system or the complexity of use. Other manufacturers are committed to mixed formats between analog and digital. One thing is clear: the level of functionalities collected on the screens is increasing, perhaps too much.
We are not very far from seeing a regulation for the use and development of screens in cars when driving. Many of the systems that we find on the market are dangerous due to the lack of attention they cause in the driver. That’s why DS lead designer Thierry Métroz thinks having so many screens is “a bit stupid” for himAnd it’s not sexy at all. Thinking that goes against the market trend. People want screens, the bigger it seems the better.
Métroz told Autocar that DS’s goal is to eliminate any trace of touch screens inside the cars of the Stellantis Group’s premium brand. “The problem with the screen is that when you turn off the screen, you are left with just a rectangular black surface with all the fingerprints on it.. It’s not very sexy, it’s not very luxurious.” There, good Thierry is right, because rarely does a manufacturer reveal the interior to us with the screens off. It’s not showy, it doesn’t sell.
Along the same lines, Métroz has recognized that this objective will not be easy to meet given the complexity of showing the driver the necessary information, but it will look for less intrusive formats that add more serenity. Obviously, we are many years away from the time when we will not see a screen inside a car, we may not even see it, but it is clear that digitization must be controlled for the sake of security.