GM HAS REVEALED a new Head-Up Display (HUD) concept this week, featuring an augmented reality system that projects relevant information across the entire windscreen.
Developed in partnership with Carnegie Mellon and the University of Southern California, the new HUD concept uses a variety of sensors in the vehicle to scan the road ahead and highlight obstacles and important road signs and markings.
Similar to Volvo's new collision-avoidance technology set to debut in the upcoming 2011 Volvo S60, obstacles in the road such as animals or pedestrians will also be highlighted, alerting drivers in time to stop.
"Let's say you're driving in fog, we could use the vehicle's infrared cameras to identify where the edge of the road is and the lasers could 'paint' the edge of the road onto the windshield so the driver knows where the edge of the road is," Thomas Seder, GM's R&D boss said.
"This design is superior to traditional 'head down' display-based night vision systems, which require a user to read information from a traditional display, create a mental model and imagine the threat's precise location in space."
The technology in GM's new HUD concept includes a layer of transparent phosphors across the windscreen, emitting visible light when excited by a light beam from a compact laser mounted in the cabin.
Seder added that the technology can be combined with navigation system data - such as the maps used in most GPS devices - to alert the driver of their desired exit, posted speed limits and other map-based points.
"We have done testing on a number of drivers and their performance is better relative to head-down systems that are commonly used in vehicles today," Seder said. "It's a compelling design."
The technology is not expected to make its way into production for some time yet, with the earliest launch date expected to be around 2016.