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House of Representatives
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: May 28, 2015 12:39 PM
From: Representative Joe Emrick
To: All House members
Subject: Image Display Device Enabling Legislation
An automotive technology revolution is underway. Electronics make up nearly 40% of the content of today’s average new automobile, and that percentage will continue to grow as manufacturers push to produce safer and greener vehicles. Today an average new automobile includes more than 40 electronic controllers, five miles of wiring, and more than 10 million lines of software code. One area, however, where new technology has exceeded the scope of existing state legislation is in the area of in-vehicle entertainment.

A primary example of this can be found in Mercedes-Benz’s Splitview technology. Splitview utilizes twin pixel technology to turn a vehicle’s main center-stack display screen into a dually enabled device. It allows a front seat passenger to view entertainment images on the screen, while the driver still only can see vehicle operation information, such as navigation or traffic – all on the same screen. While currently specific to Mercedes-Benz vehicles, other automotive manufacturers will be introducing similar technologies over the next model years.

As Pennsylvania’s existing law speaks to the physical placement of the screen, as opposed to the content on the screen, this technology is presently prohibited from sale in the Commonwealth. My legislation seeks to align existing statute with today’s technologies and enable their sale in Pennsylvania.

Key Facts:
  • Splitview technology was introduced with model year 2011 vehicles and is currently being sold in 48 states.
  • Splitview allows for safe access to entertainment for front-seat passengers through the front console’s video display device.
  • Drivers are not able to see the entertainment images being watched by the front-seat passenger, but continue to have access, and can simultaneously view, telematics support systems such as navigation.
  • Pennsylvania is now one of only two states that has not updated statutes to allow for the sale of this and other similar technologies.
  • Vehicles with Splitview will become available in Pennsylvania upon the effective date of this enabling legislation.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this very important legislation. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Introduced as HB1278