Our cars can do more and more. And if they can do more they want to tell us, and if they can do lots and lots more, more things might fail and need to be flagged. Uff. While back in the 60s a speedometer, a coolant thermostat and a fuel gage were enough to let drivers know how their cars were doing, the flood of information on modern dashboards is, let’s say, downright cluttered. Are we just hankering after the good old days? Or is it that nothing works anymore without a load of colorful instruments? Let’s take a look back.

 Ahh, the good old Beetle. In the 60s and 70s, for a lack of alternatives almost everyone had such an air-cooled noisemaker with just its one round instrument. Later on everyone was glad to be driving a “proper” car, and today they’re all looking back longingly. By the time you reach your midlife crisis you want to buy your first car again, but you’ll be shocked by the prices of the small cult cuties. If only you’d kept it back then. If only … One thing a VW Beetle could definitely do was let you keep your eyes on the road and not distract you. Neither with beeping noises and flashing symbols nor with colorful information. If something was wrong you’d hear it somehow. A bit spartan? Definitely.

In the 90s the automotive industry upgraded. Manufacturers started to define themselves through the color of the instrument lights – red, blue, green, it could all be done. Modern engines with electronic controllers provided a host of new data, some of which needed to be shown. Drivers of high-end saloons in particular were surrounded by lamps and lights, but a few of them at least wanted to warn you that something was wrong. When driving at night, the passengers had a Hollywood-style sheen in the soft light of the dashboard. Do any of you still have one of these cars? Burnt out dashboard lamps can be replaced by bright energy-saving LED lamps. At Osram you’ll find what you need.

Inside of the car at night


Today it’s all about display, ambience and infotainment. Large touch screens tell you so much about all the different situations in the car and the fully air-conditioned comfort zone that the ban of having your mobile phone on your ear seems almost ridiculous. But it is how it is. Especially young people appreciate entertainment and connectivity in a car more than its optical beauty or the sound of the engine; they want lounge-like lights inside the car and maximum entertainment, all complete with lights. Even in small cars the flood of information is beyond your wildest dreams, making manuals thicker than telephone books. But once you got used to the “new one” you will neither want to do without the comforts nor the flashy entertainment. People are learning new things, in their cars too.

Have you also used different light colors in your “living room” on wheels? You can do so using Osram TUNING LIGHTS to turn your “normal” car into a cool understated lounge. If we’re being honest, these new cars do fit into our world. And they are cleaner, quieter, more economical and more comfortable. And soon we’ll find ourselves in the electric age. But until then we’ll upgrade our interior lighting, okay?

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