Trends Driving Design and Materials Changes in the Instrument Panel System
The instrument panel (IP) is one of the largest, most complex, and visible components of the vehicle interior, and like most other major systems in passenger cars and light trucks, it has undergone considerable aesthetic and functional changes over the past decade. This is because a number of design, engineering, and manufacturing trends have been driving modifications in both the role of these systems and the materials used to construct them since the mid- '80s. This paper will trace the recent evolution of IP systems in terms of the trends affecting both design and materials usage. Specific commercial examples will be used to illustrate these changes.