Ford’s Massive New 48-Inch Digital Dash
The new digital monster screen is a huge leap forward for Ford.
Debuting on the 2024 Lincoln Nautilus, the 48-inch digital screen spans the entirety of the dashboard. The difference in size between this screen and the 12-inch screen in a used Ford Bronco, for example, is huge. Along with the new size, the big screen will also be utilizing Android’s Automotive operating system and will include a full array of native and Google applications such as maps and Google Assistant. The Epic Unreal Engine will be powering its graphics, and it will maintain access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto unlike its rival GM, who decided to restrict the use of the popular phone mirroring services for safety reasons.
The new display is designed to be “pillar to pillar”, meaning it will stretch the entire width of the dashboard. It’s also panoramic, curving to match the curvature of the dash and windshield. 4K graphics make for a super sharp display. While Ford is proud of its giant screen, the real prize is the updated Android OS and wireless 5G connectivity allowing for fast over-the-air updates.
These days, the automotive Space Race revolves around who can fit the biggest screen into their vehicles. Companies like Tesla, BMW, Ford, GM, and Mercedes-Benz are locked into this battle with no end in sight. Even with warnings from safety experts regarding large screens and driver distraction, competition for the biggest screen drags on.
According to Doug Field, former Apple and Tesla engineer who is now Ford’s chief EV and digital design officer, “I think displays, in many ways, have been like windows into the inside of the car, that was one of the things Steve [Jobs] taught us: the hardware should gradually become just a window into the world of software.” The statement rings true in the digital age, and Ford is making sure it heeds the advice to a “T”.
Three years ago, Ford announced its intended departure from the BlackBerry QNX operating system that powers their Sync system. Replacing the QNX OS would be Google’s own Android system, then allowing drivers to use native Android apps without the need for a mirroring service.
The new 48-inch screen marks the entry of the new Google Android OS. As of now, only the 2024 Lincoln Nautilus is slated to receive the big screen. The first Ford-branded vehicle to get the 48-inch screen will be announced at a later date. While the 48-inch screen is huge, Ford states that individual vehicle teams will be able to decide how much -or how little- screen they want in their models. This means the screen won’t be the same in a Ford F-150 as it is in a Lincoln Navigator.
The 48-inch screen is an impressive display of Ford’s technological prowess. Will you want a screen that big in your next Ford?
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