JLR printed electronics powers next-generation in-car personalisation
Lightweight Electronics in Simplified Architecture (LESA) will allow curved screens on dashboards and drivers
Jaguar Land Rover’s (JLR) pioneering structural electronics research could allow dashboards to be replaced by curved screens and let drivers customise interiors thanks to colour-changing body panels.
The company is developing the Lightweight Electronics in Simplified Architecture (LESA) research technology – used in flexible wearables and curved OLED TVs – for car interiors. It has the potential to radically change cabins of the future and would offer customers greater ability to customise their cars to suit their needs.
With LESA technology, JLR will be able to manufacture body panel displays to show information only when needed to help designers achieve streamlined and buttonless designs for future cars. Such designs may include, customisable interior ambient lighting systems, body controls, wraparound button-less dashboards and advanced fabric/leather heated steering wheels.
The innovative printed electronics system will also reduce the weight of in-car electronics by up to 60% as wiring, sensors and computing is contained within all non-metal materials, removing the need for extra packaging space for control units.
The system uses computer animated drawings (CAD) to virtually “unfold” a part into its 2D structure. The required electronic circuit, ordinarily wired into a traditional ECU, is then printed onto the flat surface, and components are mounted, before the CAD is folded back into its original 3D. The part is then manufactured with the electronics printed into the structure.
The lightweighting benefits are a step towards Jaguar Land Rover’s vision for Destination Zero; an ambition to make societies safer and healthier, and the environment cleaner delivered through relentless innovation. By removing weight from the vehicle, future Jaguar and Land Rover models will benefit from increased electric range or improved fuel efficiency, helping to further the company’s goal of a zero emissions future