You can see it while wearing polarized sunglasses.
Cars are becoming more like fighter jets every day. On-board radar, night-vision capability, touch screen controls, and lest we forget Tesla has an actual autopilot. Lincoln is further upping the ante with a new head-up display, and while these holographic-like systems have actually been in cars for decades, this one promises enhanced visibility that can still be seen through polarized sunglasses – an issue that’s long plagued such setups.
Lincoln is the first auto manufacturer to use Digital Light Projectction technology for a head-up display. Used in digital movie theaters, DLP allows the display to be more visible in natural light compared to other systems. It's also how information remains visible when viewed through sunglasses.
“We’ll be using a DLP chip from Texas Instruments, while many other automakers use a different technology that doesn’t get quite as bright,” said Anthony King, product design engineer for The Lincoln Motor Company, in a press release on the new heads up display. “That’s what sets us apart.”
The display is controlled via the steering wheel and is customizable to show a wide range of information, including speed, fuel level, temperature, and numerous other functions. Navigation system information and phone activity will automatically show up when the system is turned on. Specific brightness setting and display position can also be customized, and for those who prefer glancing at gauges, it can be completely turned off.
The new head-up display system is exclusive to Lincoln and is scheduled to launch in April 2017 on the Continental. Whether or not that means it will remain with the brand exclusively or find its way to other Ford vehicles remains to be seen. But if it’s as good as Lincoln claims, don’t be surprised to see it as a Blue Oval option sooner rather than later.
Gallery: 2017 Lincoln Continental head up display
Eyes on Road, Hands on Wheel: Lincoln Debuts Head-Up Display for Ultimate Driving Experience
DEARBORN, Mich., MARCH. 24, 2017 – The Lincoln Motor Company will debut an all-new Head-Up Display system next month in its flagship vehicle, the Lincoln Continental. The system is exclusive to Lincoln, with the brightest and biggest display size in its class.
The company also is the first manufacturer to use DLP technology – Digital Light Projection – the same technology used in digital movie theaters. This allows the display to be visible in more ambient lighting conditions than its competitors, even while the driver is wearing polarized sunglasses. Lincoln’s research shows that other systems may fade or be difficult to view in bright light, while DLP remains clear and bright for optimal viewing.
“We’ll be using a DLP chip from Texas Instruments, while many other automakers use a different technology that doesn’t get quite as bright,” says Anthony King, product design engineer for The Lincoln Motor Company. “That’s what sets us apart.”
An added benefit: The infrared reflective coating on the glass that reflects the display deflects heat, helping the car stay cool in warmer climates.
The display – centered above the steering wheel – is designed to help drivers keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel; everything in the Head-Up Display is controlled by the steering wheel.
Customizable so clients can choose what they want to see shown, the display allows drivers to set the brightness they desire, as well as the placement – which can be adjusted slightly to achieve the ideal viewing position.
Drivers can choose to see every available component, pare down their selections, or even turn off the system completely. Only the phone and navigation system information automatically will appear in the display when in use. Features such as outside temperature, Lane-Keeping System, adaptive cruise control, fuel level, and the time can be turned on or off.
Speed and the turn signal repeaters are the only redundant default information that appear in both the Head-Up Display and the instrument panel cluster.
“It’s unique, and we’ve chosen that because our research has shown that a non-redundant display actually makes it more compelling to clients,” says King. “It’s simple, and it defines what quiet luxury really means.”