Want your infotainment portrait or landscape? Why not both?
Modern vehicles have become so much more than just basic transportation devices: these days your car connects you to the outside world via satellite navigation, satellite radio, Wi-Fi, and a myriad of social platforms. Central to this new wave of connectivity is your car's infotainment system, which has quickly become the focal point of car interiors. Mercedes-Benz recently revealed a massive 56-inch Hyperscreen for its upcoming EQS Sedan and BMW is now getting to reveal advanced voice command in new models such as the electric iX SUV. Now, Mitsubishi Electric is doing some innovating of its own with a prototype rotating infotainment system that could revolutionize the game.
Most manufacturers these days either go for a landscape setup, as can be found in most German offerings, or a portrait configuration as seen in Volvo models. Unfortunately, manufacturers don't give their customers an option here, which can prove problematic when utilizing apps like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. However, that choice is exactly what Mitsubishi is testing on an Acura MDX. In a YouTube video uploaded by Autoline Network, Mitsubishi Electric VP of Advanced Engineering Mark Rakoski explains how the new rotating display works. "Sometimes things look better in portrait, and sometimes they look better in landscape, so we made it rotate according to driver preference. This system currently runs on Android 10 software and includes numerous cameras for interior and exterior monitoring" he says in the video. Rakoski goes on to explain that Mitsubishi Electronics is currently focusing on mid to entry-level systems aimed at the mass market.
The prototype still looks a bit clunky, and those thick bezels make it look fit for military use, but the transition between landscape and portrait seems to be beautifully fluid and fully automated, mimicking the same sort of functionality we make use of with our smartphones on a daily basis. The video doesn't exactly show massive advances in infotainment software, but this basic mechanic is sure to be a game-changer, and we expect lots of manufacturers to adopt this concept in one form or another. Some might not appreciate the standalone screen which looks like an afterthought, but it could also prove useful in allowing manufacturers to install screens of different sizes, or perhaps integrate a swiveling function to change the angle as seen in the upcoming Mercedes-AMG SL.