It's an excellent way to declutter the interior.
General Motors has filed a new patent for a deployable rollable infotainment screen. CarBuzz discovered the patent, filed at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Interestingly, the patent was initially filed on 28 July 2021, but the description and images related to the technology were only published on 2 February this year.
This new technology is a deployable display, not a fixed unit like the one used in the Aehra SUV. Instead, the display is rolled up between two roller guides, allowing the driver or passenger to make the display as large as required, obviously within limitations.
In the folded position, the two roller guides are hidden at the top of the dashboard. At the touch of a button, they rise and unspool the display to the desired length.
That's where the second part of this new patent takes over. In addition to the unspooling display, the dashboard is equipped with a guide track that can move the display between the two pillars.
In short, the center display can be moved between the driver and the passenger, and its size can be adapted. There are multiple benefits to this, mainly for the driver. The current norm is an analog or digital instrument cluster in front of the passenger, displaying only vital information. Everything else is controlled via the center-mounted infotainment screen.
Studies have shown that an infotainment screen can be distracting because a driver still has to look down and away from the road. With this system, a smaller, simpler infotainment display can be moved closer to the driver's eye line for easier access.
As this will likely be equipped to an EV, we expect it will provide access to entertainment while the car charges. It could also act as a home theater screen in the age of autonomous vehicles.
If there's a passenger in the car, the entire screen can be deployed and moved over to the passenger side. Whether you want the passenger to choose the music is up to you. We live by the words of the late, great Dean Winchester: "Driver picks the music, shotgun shuts his cakehole."
The patent images don't show it, but the driver would need a second display when the unspooled main display is on the passenger side if only to show speed and direction and give any advanced driver assistance warnings.
What we really like about this patent is the freedom it gives interior designers. These days, interiors are designed around ever-growing infotainment displays as manufacturers compete in a size-measuring contest.
Just imagine how much more elegant the interior of the Chevrolet Suburban would feel if Chevy ditched the clunky screen stuck on top of the center console.
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