- Old Instrument Clusters
- What are digital instrument clusters?
- Semi-Digital Cluster
- Advantages of Digital Instrument Clusters
- Brands providing Digital Instrument Cluster
A lot of information needs to be processed while a person is driving. The driver needs to focus on the road while being aware of the surroundings and key components like tire pressure, speed etc. That is where the instrument cluster comes into play. The instrument cluster, traditionally, came in plastic housings that made it difficult for the driver to understand what they were seeing while driving. This made the inclusion of digital instrument clusters very necessary.
Old Instrument Clusters
The older clusters contained housings made of plastic that had mechanical gauges and indicator lights. The displays were generally electrical meter movements or friction drag instruments. The clusters essentially provided limited amount of information like engine temperature and speed.
What are digital instrument clusters?
A digital instrument cluster is a digital panel that essentially give digital displays instead of the analog gauges. They are commonly known as digital speedometers.
The need for more efficient information and a sleek design led the car manufacturers to look for other options. This gave way to semi-digital instrument clusters. Mostly seen in low-end cars, this cluster mostly makes use of analog dials as well as digital readouts. The analog dials provide things like temperature while the digital readout provides information like speed.
Advantages of Digital Instrument Clusters
- Digital instrument clusters allow for car manufacturers to focus more on the aesthetic looks and increase the brand appeal. A completely analog cluster makes for an unattractive design, something which car manufacturers are trying to avoid.
- The incorporation of software for these clusters allows for flexibility of display. All kinds of information can be accessed through the software.
- Extra information can be accessed now by the driver. For example, the driver can look for the nearest food joints or petrol stations through the cluster. The software can display information like energy-saving.
- The use of a completely digital cluster allows for personalization. This personalization allows the driver to prioritize the information that they need while enabling them to change things like font size and color.
- Digital instrument clusters also allow for car manufacturers to easily reduce the cost for machine parts. Since most of the focus is on technology, the need for plastic holdings is eliminated.
Photo Credit: en.wikipedia.org
Brands providing Digital Instrument Cluster
When the technology was introduced, luxury brands’ cars were the first to incorporate this in their designs. But now, mainstream brands have also started investing in this technology and making it affordable for the people.
Some mainstream brands like Volkswagen allow users to use a digital instrument cluster system which can be used to access maps.
Big car giants like Tesla have chosen to replace this cluster entirely by using a touchscreen infotainment system instead of their models.
- The instrument panel of a car is known as a dashboard/fascia.
- Speedometers have been a part of car systems since 1910.
- The creator of an important instrument like odometer is Zhang Heng.