Not too long ago it appeared that every consumer-facing business decided that nothing could improve ‘customer experience’ like a big flat screen TV. They are now ubiquitous in banks, barber shops, super markets, every kind of waiting room or lobby, and, of course, restaurants and bars. Part of this proliferation is related to greater availability and lower prices. A similar trend is also starting to play out with regard to touch screens. Though they are generally smaller, their obvious utility makes them perfect for restaurant ordering and other self-pay stations. Having a customers interact with a screen instead of a person saves money and increases efficiency. More importantly, such devices look slick and create an aura of technological supremacy.
Which brings us to the Cadillac Escalade. The 2021 model of this gargantuan SUV will feature a whopping 36 inch OLED screen that will not only comprise the entire driver’s side of the dashboard, but also presumably serve as the hub for all infotainment, climate and other control features in the middle of the dash.
Considering the sheer amount of real estate this screen takes up, it is also not surprising that there are some majestic curves. The screen basically wraps the driver in an automotive IMAX environment. Although Chinese EV start-up Byton has a 48-inch screen in their SUV, the Cadillac’s screen will be the largest in any mass-produced car.
It should also be noted that the Escalade will have a hands-free mode that will essentially allow self-driving. Does this mean that I can watch Avengers Endgame while making my way down the turnpike? Early indications are no. While in hands-free mode, the Escalade will watch you with it’s own in-cabin visual sensors to make sure you are keeping your eyes on the road.
As of the date of this article, Cadillac has done little more than tease their monstrous curved touchscreen. More details are coming in February 2020. But with that much space, there will be many options about how to distribute (and customize) functionality. In terms of picture quality, Cadillac is boasting twice the pixel density of a 4k television. Seems a bit of overkill for a button to turn on the air conditioner, but as the maker (and drivers) of the Escalade know, nothing succeeds like excess.