The heads-up displays or head-up displays, are transparent media that presents images, navigation information and other forms of data without the users having to change their viewpoints.
The heads-up displays in cars have the potential to improve safety and navigation. The heads-up display (HUD) technology was first used in the military aviation, where pilots got relevant information beamed on a screen placed directly in front of their view on the windscreen. This aided the pilots in getting information without necessarily tilting their focus while in the air.
First used for military aviation, the HUD technology is now available for several civilian applications. It is used in the automobile, commercial aviation, Augmented Reality glasses for maintenance, and other professional applications.
There are several benefits of heads-up displays. These range from increasing safety and concentration for drivers and pilots to reducing the time engineers and technicians take to repair or service equipment.
Heads-up displays generations
The heads-up displays can be classified into 4 generations depending on the technology they use to present/project the images
- 1st Generation— These HUD’s use CRT to project the image onto a phosphor screen. Most of Heads up displays in operation use this technology. Its advantage however is that the phosphor screen fades with time.
- 2nd Generation— These HUD’s make use of a solid state light source, such as an LED, which will then generate the image on an LCD screen. These types of HUD’s are found in commercial aircrafts. Advantage of the second generation HUDs to the first is that they have lower voltage requirements and the screen does not fade away.
- 3rd Generation— These Heads up displays make use of optical waveguides to produce images directly on the point of view of the user. They do not use a projection system.
- 4th Generation— These HUDs use laser technology to generate images and videos on transparent medium.
Heads-up Displays in Automobiles
The heads-up displays are gaining popularity in the automobile market now more than ever before. With the development of advanced augmented reality algorithms as well as display technologies, HUDs are now more advanced and with enhanced capabilities than before. For example, displaying digital transparent images onto the cars windscreen is pretty awesome and safe. This allows drivers to see the navigation and other dashboard information without taking their eyes off the road, hence reducing the distractions.
Information a heads-up displays in car can provide
The heads-up displays in an automobile can be used to display a lot of information on the transparent screen placed on the windscreen. This ensures that the driver keeps their eyes on the road even when getting important information from different sources.
Most of these is the same information that would have been displayed on the dashboard and require the driver to tilt their angle of sight so as to see.
Typical information that can be displayed by the HUD includes speedometer, rpm gauge, temperature gauges, seat belt warning, speed limit zones once you approach one, street signs which are close to your car, GPS directions and point to take turns, phone notifications such as calls or new emails among others.
The main idea behind the automobile heads-up display is to ensure that the driver can receive vital information on the windscreen where the drivers focus their eyes while driving, hence ensuring that the drivers attention is on the road instead of looking at the dashboard for the GPS headings or radio, which may lead to the driver being distracted. Hence it can be said that Heads Up Display in
The displays allow the drivers to pay attention to what is on the road instead of looking at the dashboard for the GPS headings or radio, or other information that will cause distraction. Hence it can be said that Heads Up Display in
Hence it can be said that heads-up displays in cars provides both technological and safety features.
Due to the safety features offered by the Heads up displays, it would not be a surprise if some countries make it a legal requirement for automobiles to have this feature. With advancement in technology, also the number of functionalities that are
With advances in technology, have led to an increased number of functionalities in the cars. These functions and features can be a source of distraction to the drivers, be it receiving phone calls while driving or receiving traffic updates from one’s GPS. HUDs will display all this information directly in the view of the driver’s visual focal point.
The vehicle manufacturers, owners and drivers can overcome these challenges by installing the HUDs to display all this information directly in the view of the driver’s visual focal point.
Vehicle manufacturers using Heads up displays in the cars
Automobile manufacturers are not being left behind in ensuring the driver takes advantage of all the enhanced features they can gain from HUDs. Audi, GM or Mercedes Benz dealership have for the past year or so been offering HUDs as an added feature to one’s package. New car models such as the 2016 Audi A7, Mercedes S55 as well as new models of cars under the GM umbrella have widespread use of the heads up displays.
For such car models, the HUDs are installed in the car’s framework hence the data they display is real-time from the engine and other parts of the car.
If you are on a car shopping mission, and the model you intend to purchase has the option of having a factory-installed HUD, this would be a better option than going for third party HUDs as the factory-installed Heads up displays can easily be linked to the car’s dashboard Bluetooth hence easily be able to pick up information and notification with ease. Calls, new emails, texts and other type of notifications will automatically be displayed on the HUD.
Jaguar, Hyundai, and Land Rover have also not been left behind in this HUD application. They have also developed their own HUDs which have the ability to display speed limit zones once you enter one, street signs around you, displaying the turn you should take on the road, among other features.
Heads up displays Apps
If your car model does not have a factory-built HUD set then don’t worry, because there is a huge collection of HUD Apps on iTunes as well as Google play app store which will offer the same features with the least hassle of wiring and installation in incompatible cars.
How these apps work is that they display reverse images of the information one requires on the windshield when the phone is mounted on top of the dashboard at an angle. The windscreen will then reflect the image back to the driver. The apps depend on GPS systems, which at times are not so accurate so if it is to display speed, it may differ from the real engine speed hence not very reliable.
Some of the common apps used include Navier for Android and Hudway for iOS, as they have great ratings from users.
Third Party heads Up Displays
Due to the growing demand of the HUDs and the high number of incompatible vehicles, several companies have developed third party Heads up displays one can install in the cars. Although they will not be fetching data especially regarding the car from the engine, these types of HUDs connect either to the phones internal GPS or linking to a signal of their own from a satellite, which can estimate the car’s position and driving speed and display it on the HUD on the windscreen.
Although this field is still in its infancy stage, companies such as Navdy are working on improving the experience of using 3rd party HUDs.
Navdy offers almost the same features one gets from an inbuilt-car HUD. But for this HUD, it can be considered to be a universal one as it is compatible with any car model. For Navdy ,it is slightly differs from other third-party HUDs as its projecting system has a screen of its own which sits at the base where the drivers eyes are supposed to be, instead of directly displaying the images or videos on the windscreen. The Navdy also comes equipped with a range of social media app extensions such as Twitter, Facebook, and Spotify which connect directly to your phone and can easily be controlled using hand gestures which are monitored by the Heads up display’s internally installed camera, hence making it so user friendly. These features make Navdy one of the most advanced third party HUDs in the market.
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HUDs may soon be a vital technology in every drivers mind due to its smartness, safety features as well as ease of interaction with the outside world while driving e.g receiving GPS direction as well as phone notifications at the ease of the driver’s point of view. Heads-up displays in the near future may be the technology that will turn “texting and driving” into “driving and texting” safely.