By David Thomas on May 18, 2009
Well-known computer graphics company NVIDIA and mobile solutions company icon icar have teamed up to develop a 3-D gauge cluster for cars. If the above image — and one below — are any indication, they should have automakers lining up to get these in future cars.
icon worked on the iPhone interface on the Audi A1 concept car a few years ago. NVIDIA makes a wide array of computer graphics cards found in PCs and Macs. And, maybe soon, hatchbacks.
These images are icon's "proof of concept" that show automakers — their potential customers — just how adaptable a 3-D gauge cluster can be. The two images show the standard speedometer and fuel gauge, along with radio and navigation information. Relocating this information to the gauge cluster could reduce the need for a second screen in a car's center stack.
Since it's all digital, measurements like Fahrenheit and Celsius and mph and kph can be changed easily with no additional manufacturing costs.
Technology sure has come a long way since I laid eyes on the 2-D digital cluster in my 1989 Ford Probe.
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David