The car market keeps evolving at an increasingly fast rate. From self-driving vehicles to cars with integrated face recognition, it seems like there’s a brand-new innovation every other week. One of these innovations is the digital dashboard – often abbreviated to digital dash. But what is a digital dash exactly?

Traditionally, car dashboards feature analogue clusters with gauges and lights that convey vital information to the driver. Most classic dashboards include the same things – a fuel gauge, a speedometer, a tachometer, warning and information lights and an odometer. This compact cluster is still an essential component for digital dashboards. So, what has changed?

Digital dashboard vs classic dashboard

Although the Aston Martin Lagonda was the first car to have a truly digital dash in the late 70s, it wasn’t until the 21st century that digital dashboards became commonplace. Before then, only luxury cars such as the Mercedes S-Class had digital dashboards. But that has changed. These days, you can even fit a classic city car like the Ford Fiesta with a digital dash.

So, what is a digital dash’s main benefit? That’s simple – it’s often completely customisable, meaning that you choose the information you want to see. For example, some digital dashboards include real-time information on a car’s engine, motor and battery. Other drivers prefer to prioritise fuel economy and customise their digital dash so it shows savvy gas-saving tips.

Since you can configure your digital dash to display sat nav instructions, this innovation has made things easier for drivers with a poor sense of direction. Unlike traditional sat navs, this allows drivers to make sure that they’re on the right path without taking their eyes off the road.

Is a digital dash worth it?

In the end, the answer to this question comes down to personal preference. For some drivers, digital dashboards with too much information can be a dangerous distraction. For others, it’s merely a question of looks. Some drivers just happen to prefer the retro feel of a classic dashboard and value that over the convenience of a digital dash.

That being said, a digital dash is a highly recommended add-on if you drive an electric car. In fact, most EVs these days will include a digital dash as the standard option. Why is this? Because, more so than petrol cars, EVs demand drivers to keep an eye on their car’s range and battery consumption at all times. A digital dash can show how many miles you’ve got left and where your nearest charging point is.

So, if you drive an EV, make sure you get a digital dash. It really is a no-brainer.

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