Harman’s Augmented Reality Display: A New Take on the HUD

  HUDs (head-up displays) have been on cars for the last decade or so, beginning with the C5 Corvette in 1998.  Typically, they only offered information such as speed, outside temperature, and perhaps tire pressure.  Harman is taking the HUD concept many steps farther with the introduction of an augmented reality display that would be projected on windshields. Screenshots of the proposed technology show real-time weather displays, as well as a phone interface and messenger applications.  Internet access would come from either WiFi or LTE, similar to a smartphone.  There’s also menu entries for navigation and lane-departure warning systems. This technology has the potential to avert distractions by keeping motorists’ eyes off the center stack of the dashboard and on the road.  However, having all that information in front of the driver could keep him from being fully alert.  Harman says that motorists will be unable to tinker with the system while driving, similar to some in-dash GPS units found in current vehicles. The Harman system is a bold combination of HUD and smartphone.  Projecting information previously confined to smartphones and presenting it on drivers’ windshields is a fascinating concept and a big leap forward in automotive technology.