An automotive head-up display or automotive heads-up display —also known as an auto-HUD— is any transparent display that presents data in the automobile without requiring users to look away from their usual viewpoints.
The origin of the name stems from a pilot being able to view information with the head positioned “up” and looking forward, instead of angled down looking at lower instruments. At this time, there are two different approaches to OEM HUDs in automobiles. The first is to treat the back of the windshield in such a way that an image projected onto it will reflect to the driver and The second is to have a small combiner that is separate from the windshield.
Two of the most important parts of driving are being able to see well and knowing where you’re going. Head-up display technology works with both of those ideas in mind and it’s going to change the way we see the road forever.
Safety Benefits of Head-Up Displays
Head-up displays are much more than just a novelty or a new way of viewing navigation directions. If the HUD system is paired with on-board cameras and adaptive cruise control it could very well be one of the best safety systems your car has ever seen. You know, aside from your seat belts, brakes, airbags, ABS and so on. Why is an HUD system in the same category as these? Well, let’s take a common weather problem that causes major safety hazards for drivers as an example — fog. Newer HUD systems can use infrared cameras to detect where the lines on the road are and project them on the windshield exactly where they appear in real life. Take a minute to process that. Heads-up displays can project objects that are there, but that you can’t see! The same can be done to display a car ahead of you that you can’t see. The HUD system will use cameras and GPS to locate the car and then display an image of it on your windshield, complete with information about its distance from your vehicle. Now let’s take it one step further. Not only can head-up displays tell you how far ahead the car in front of you is, it’ll also be able to show you how to maneuver around another car to avoid an accident or other road hazards. Some adaptive cruise control systems already make safety calculations to determine the best route for a car around a certain situation, but the next step is to actually project that information, in real-time, on the car’s windshield.
Newer HUD systems can use infrared cameras to detect where the lines on the road are and project them on the windshield exactly where they appear in real life. Take a minute to process that. Heads-up displays can project objects that are there, but that you can’t see!
Future of HUD
Head-Up Display can pair with Bluetooth or cell phones to allow for hands free texting and dialing. Future functions could include displaying information from applications, such as a restaurant’s Yelp rating, in the driver’s field of vision. Currently, HUD-enabled vehicles have a more limited range of functionality to go along with this price-tag. Most systems currently display information about current driving conditions, such as speed, and navigation information. We’ve put together a list of videos showing some available systems below.
The original head-up displays are being replaced with newer technology called augmented reality (AR). These AR systems are the new version of head-up displays, but are far more advanced. ARs can integrate with GPS systems, infrared cameras, the Internet and mobile apps to turn your car’s windshield into an on-board information screen