While we may not yet have flying cars, technology keeps getting us closer and closer to the world we see in sci-fi movies and films. I am pleased to say that augmented reality displays for navigation are finally here, and may be installed in vehicles within the next few years.
Yesterday, Continental announced a new Head-up Display (or HUD) that will project navigation and other information right in the driver’s line of sight. This Augmented Reality HUD (AR-HUD) looks very futuristic, projecting directions and warnings so they appear to be part of the road ahead, allowing drivers to keep their eyes where they should be–on the road and traffic.
According to a press release, the AR-HUD was developed from Continental’s previous HUD designs, with the goal of making the information drivers receive part of the driving experience. When navigating, for example, a virtual symbol inserted precisely into the exterior view shows the driver the way on the curve in front of the vehicle. When distance controls are enabled, a marking in the AR-HUD visualizes which vehicle in front is detected by the assistance system.
“In a world that is becoming increasingly complex, the AR-HUD relieves the burden on the driver with a new quality of information. In the augmentation, we are connecting what the driver’s eyes see with explanatory information,” said Helmut Matschi, a member of the Executive Board at Continental and head of the Interior division. “The AR-HUD is an important step… for a more comfortable, more economic, and safer driving experience. Drivers receive all important information before their eyes in an easily comprehensible way. This is a major step against driver distraction and sensory overload, both now and in the future.”
The AR-HUD technology is an at advanced development stage right now, and has already been integrated into a demo vehicle. According to the press release, the technology will be ready for production as early as 2017.