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View Poll Results: Digital Instrument Cluster: Yay or Nay?
Yes please! 176 30.14%
No thanks, prefer old school dials. 308 52.74%
Not really particular about digital/analog instrument cluster 100 17.12%
Voters: 584. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 20th September 2020, 13:27   #106
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Default Re: Digital Dials and their increasing popularity

Whether we like it or not, the future is digital so voted Yes. one of my customers is an automotive Tier 1 supplier and have seen some amazing stuff they are developing in their R&D lab.
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Old 23rd September 2020, 11:51   #107
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Default Re: Digital Dials and their increasing popularity

Bucking the trend I vote for an unequivocal Yay.

Retro is nice and nostalgia brings that warm fuzzy feeling that we want to experience again and again. But there is no denying the sheer benefits of technology.

The big Cons that I see right off with digital dashboards/dials is Customise-ability and Configure-ability.

Not only will you be able to change the colours and accents to suit your moods/time of the day or whatever you fancy; manufacturers (if not already) will also allow you to choose what information you wish to be displayed & in what manner (a conventional dial / a digital bar scale) on the dashboard. The possibilities are endless. True at present most implementations look garish or tacky but this will improve with time, as access to technology becomes wider and cheaper & concepts flow down from the top tier brands to the lower ones.

Reliability? The analog/physical dials may have a longer life but also have more moving parts so perhaps more prone to niggles; On the other hand the digital dials having no moving parts, rely on digital sensor inputs to output information and eventually should become more reliable with time. As the adaption becomes more widespread the economy of scale should drive the costs down substantially; I am guessing will become not only cheaper but sort of plug and play.

As for those analog die hards, the fast track improvements in digital displays with high definition, high refresh rates and what not, the digital dials will become so good that you'll be hard-pressed to know the difference, top that with the functionality the digital dials will bring in , most will start loving them??
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Old 24th September 2020, 01:22   #108
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Default Re: Digital Dials and their increasing popularity

Having lived with the semi digital console on my Beat for almost a decade I am also on board with the digital console trend as long as the manufacturers present the core info - speed, rpm and fuel levels in an easy to read at a glance, well presented and finely graduated manner. The rest of the info and bells and whistles should be made to fit around these and can be in single or multiple "pages" that are customisable. Less clutter overall is what they should aim for.
For example while the new digital console on the Nexon and Tiago look good overall, I dislike the fact that the tacho is only graduated in 500rpm increments and there seems to be a lot of fine text scattered around like the TPMS that doesn't seem easily readable in the pictures.
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Old 12th March 2021, 11:32   #109
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Default Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

I remember the good old Ambassador instrument cluster which used to be on the middle of the dashboard. The multi-coloured speedo, fuel and amp meters would fascinate me as they juggled as the car moved along (strangely I can't remember the oil and water gauged as seen in this picture).

Digital Dials and their increasing popularity-ambassador.jpg

Of course, since then, instrument clusters have come a long way. Gradually, we got the addition of a tachometer, a digital fuel guage and a digital odometer. Recently, there has been a trend towards digital LCDs, with numerical speedos and various effects for the tachometer.

Which brings me to the question, do you prefer analog instrument clusters, digital ones, or something in between (a mix of both).

Here is my opinion, maybe I am just old school, but I find most of the new fangled digital instrument clusters to be tacky and too cartoon-y. Case in point, the Nissan Magnite and Tata Tiago/Tigor

Digital Dials and their increasing popularity-magnite.jpg
Nissan Magnite

Digital Dials and their increasing popularity-tiago.jpg
Tata Tiago/Tigor

The Kiger's cluster is a better execution of the digital theme, primarily because it tries to replicate an analog speedo.

Digital Dials and their increasing popularity-kiger.jpeg

Now, why the bias towards digital clusters? Well, for me, we are staring at a screen most of the time, whether it be our phones, laptops at work or televisions when relaxing. I do not want to look at another screen when driving. For me, I'd rather have a classy, simple, analog set of dials with a digital MID which can be switched on or off, depending on my requirements.

Some of my favourite analog dials are from the Amaze, Dzire, Baleno, as seen below:
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Honda Amaze

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Maruti Dzire

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Maruti Baleno

Of course, say that you want the best of both worlds. Tata does a mix of analog and digital with their Altroz and Harrier, with an analog speedo and the rest of the instruments being displayed on an LCD screen.

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Tata Altroz

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Tata Harrier

So, what are your favorite instrument cluster designs?
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Old 12th March 2021, 11:50   #110
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

Voted for best of both the worlds. Some information is best presented in digital format such as average mileage but some information like speed looks best presented in analog format (call me old school)

Snapshot of Yaris instrument cluster from our official review

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Old 12th March 2021, 11:55   #111
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

Voted for digital cluster.

I love the analog set up of speedo and tacho, but I will not let the budget digital clusters of now fool me the limitless offering of a well executed digital cluster. I get the freedom of choosing the style of speedo and tacho along with a myriad of information that is useful on full digital cluster.
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Old 12th March 2021, 11:57   #112
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

The human mind is designed or trained for analog or so I have read in ergonomic research of aircraft cockpit design. We judge risk and need for reaction, whether in a car drive or while flying an aircraft, by sight, sound, smell, vibration. We need to know approximately what the speed is - is it in the 50-60 kmph range or is it in the 80-95 range or 120-140 bracket. To take the right action we don't need to know that the speed is 83.7 kmph and the vehicle ahead is 12.46 metres ahead. Sight, our most powerful and sensitive sense judges colour, distance and size by analog measures. Imagine sensing colours with a digital measure. Even more so for hearing, our next most potent sense.

So my vote is for analog display even though today it may be a digital display and not a physical speedo needle linked mechanically to the engine etc.

Last edited by V.Narayan : 12th March 2021 at 12:00.
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Old 12th March 2021, 11:59   #113
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

Had created the same thread earlier as well ,

My choice is still analog dials but with a high quality & features filled MID in the centre. (Digital Dials and their increasing popularity)
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Old 12th March 2021, 12:05   #114
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

Voted for A mix - The best of both worlds.

Contemporary times makes the presence of digital MID a must with necessary data but it must not be too much to digest. For Speedometer and Tachometer, I prefer analogue dials, and that too not in racing derived format like the one Baleno hatchback has (the sedan had a nice design IMO), that needle vertically down south isn't something I appreciate. May be nitpicking, but such an arrangement means driver has to find the speedo needle while on the move as lets say 40 kmph comes low down the range where usually its 0 kmph in other cars. Best instrument cluster till date in my view is first generation Innova with what Toyota called "optitron" dials. Simple, well executed, no excess data to process.

Digital dials are a big NO for me. I feel a bit awkward entering a car that has blank space in place of dials, sort of eerie feeling for me atleast.
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Old 12th March 2021, 12:06   #115
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

I prefer the two needles to be analog, but don't mind anything else being digital as long as I don't have to interact with it on-the-go (prefer tactile button interfaces for ICE too). I also dislike clutter, and being distracted by information overload while driving (even the instantaneous FE display annoys me). Hide it away and offer it on-demand.

That said, I loved the minimalist option on the fully-digital cluster of the A-Class we reviewed recently.

Digital Dials and their increasing popularity-img_20210226_162201.jpg
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Old 12th March 2021, 13:07   #116
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

Voted for mixed, as I want the MID.

However, for tacho and fuel, I want analog meters. Speedos can be digital (Still in awe of the digital speedo of the first gen Honda Civic, they looked fab!)
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Old 12th March 2021, 13:50   #117
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

Voted for analog.
Assuming that all analog speedo/tacho/fuel/temp with an MFD is considered as analog.

Also its not just about the type but also the design of the units which matters as well.
Example, Etios's analog dials were horrible IMHO but the latest City's mixed/digital dials are nice.

Last edited by shancz : 12th March 2021 at 13:51. Reason: correct
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Old 12th March 2021, 13:57   #118
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

My vote goes for the Mixed kind.

I prefer an analogue Tachometer & Speedometer and a MID screen as well with all the other features including say HUD, Navigation and what not. I just love the Porsche's design with the large Tacho in the middle.

I just feel a complete digital instrument cluster is quite distracting for the driver as well.
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Old 12th March 2021, 14:05   #119
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

Both my cars have analog displays; the only "digital' indicators are those for fuel, RTE and engine temp. I know digital or virtual cockpits are the future, especially with tablets replacing dashboards and instrument clusters, but analog displays driven by needles are extremely intuitive. VCCs that have needles might blur those lines though.
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Old 12th March 2021, 14:15   #120
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Default Re: Do you prefer analog instrument clusters or digital?

Voted for Digital.

Digital displays are easily programmable to show analog displays. No other display gives the same feel as an analog tachometer and the analog tachometer can be easily rendered on a digital screen.

Having an analog hardware is like being stuck without any flexibility to change.

A flat plain screen like a smartphone is all that is required to be there and it can be made to show in any format that we need to see depending on our mood and user can easily toggle between analog or digital formats.

Last edited by for_cars1 : 12th March 2021 at 14:18.
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