Yakshita Malhotra’s work on micro-LEDs could lead to more efficient, higher resolution automotive displays capable of supporting augmented reality applications.
ECE PhD student Yakshita Malhotra received an Academic Award from The Metropolitan Detroit Chapter of Society for Information Displays for her research on micro-LEDs. Her research involves fabrication of micro-LEDs composed of nanowires that are approximately 10,000 times smaller than standard phone display pixels and could significantly advance automotive displays.
“Moving to micro-LEDs will enable much higher resolutions, which is important for augmented reality displays,” Malhotra said. “In the context of automotives, these will be applicable as ‘Head Up Displays,’ and they will be a nice aid for drivers and could help reduce distracted driving, because you wouldn’t need to look at your phone for navigation.”
Head Up Displays (HUDs) can help drivers interpret the surrounding physical environment in real time, which could improve both the safety and comfort of driving. For instance, HUDs can appear integrated with the windshield, so the information directly overlaps the real-life environment. Icons can overlap the road in front of the driver, telling them where to go and warning them if a slowdown is ahead.
“HUDs have aspects that are similar to other consumer displays, like TVs and laptops,” Malhotra said. “But because they are in a car, there are all these size restrictions and specific circuit requirements. Micro-LEDs are so small, they’ll free up a lot more space for more complex electronics.”