JLR is using smartwatch tech to fill your car with screens | Top Gear
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JLR is using smartwatch tech to fill your car with screens

The developments could reduce the weight of in car tech by 60 per cent

Published: 05 Nov 2019
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Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it is developing printable electronics technology which could eventually see dashboards replaced by buttonless curved screens and colour-changing panels. 

JLR says that the Lightweight Electronics in Simplified Architecture (LESA) research “has the potential to radically change cabins of the future and would offer customers greater ability to customise their cars to suit their needs".

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The technology is already in place in curved OLED TVs and flexible wearables such as smartwatches, but JLR is now trialling its use in car interiors. Essentially, it negates the need for an electronic control unit because the circuit is printed onto a flat, flexible surface. It also means that in the future we could apparently see digital displays on a whole host of different surfaces inside our cars. Want some old oak to replace a screen in your Jaaaag but still need modern tech? You could be in luck.

JLR has already tested the tech on an overhead control panel, and thanks to the lack of a bulky ECU, it reduced the weight of the single part by 60 per cent and the size from 50mm to 3.5mm. Crikey.

Apparently, the technological advancement could also make placing solar panels on cars viable, as there would be no extra weight added to the roof.

Now, it’s fair to say we’re not the biggest advocates of car companies getting rid of physical buttons in interiors. However, making anything 60 per cent lighter is a massive improvement and would help both with fuel economy and performance.

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