It can be very useful for the driver to keep under the speed limit if speed is displayed on the windshield. With its AR-HUD (Augmented Reality Head-up Display) prototype, Continental is taking things to even higher levels. This system not just displays the speed, but it also provides other useful information on the road. This information includes when the driver should make a turn, the distance from the car on the front and future conditions for driving.
The system uses the camera and radar fitted on the vehicle for collecting data. This data is combined with GPS positioning, digital maps and vehicle’s dynamics data for creating a model from the driver’s perspective showing the external view of the vehicle. This makes it possible for the system to show the augmented information on the windscreen at a visual point which is perfectly correct for the driver.
The next thing system does is to spread colored graphics on the driver’s road view. The width of this graphical image is 51 inches and the height is 23 inches according to the field vision of driver. The optical-equivalent distance is about 24 ft. The technology used in this system is called DMD which stands for Digital Micromirror Device. The same technology is used in digital cinema devices like Odin Handy Projector.
This system also has a unique feature. It is that navigation symbols like turns are covered on the front view of the driver. This makes it very convenient for him, and he does not have to look at another GPS device present in the vehicle. Another wonderful feature of the system is ACC (Adaptive Cruise Control); it is a distance control function of the AR-HUD which displays an icon like a crescent when a vehicle in field of view is detected. The lane-monitoring alert of the assistance system keeps the driver alert of any unusual movements from the vehicles in that line.
A member of the Executive Board at Continental Helmut Matschi said that the world is becoming increasingly complex, and the AR-HUD will relieve the burden on the driver with its new quality of information. According to him, they are connecting the driver’s view with the explanatory information in the augmentation. Moreover, AR-HUD is a major breakthrough for a realistic human machine interface in vehicles that will make driving experience more safe, economic and comfortable. The drivers are going to get all necessary information in front of their eyes in a complete manner. For both present and future, it will be a great achievement regarding sensory overload and driver distraction.
The new AR-HUD system is developed from the previous HUD systems already installed in most European cars. The new system is already installed in the demonstration vehicles, and it is an advanced stage of development. The continental AR-HUD gathers data using standard electronic systems on board which is very different from other systems that are developed for racing vehicles. One of these systems is Jaguar Virtual Windscreen that provides information after it gets the race-track telemetry.
By 2017, the production-ready version of AR-HUD of Continental will be available for automakers so they can install it on their new vehicle.