Head up display: Ten things you need to know

This technology was invented for World War II airplanes and did not reach cars until 1988.

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The systems Head-up display image projection on the windshield are the pioneers of the use of vehicle windows as a screen to offer content. Its philosophy is to help the driver and provide relevant information in the way that least affects his concentration behind the wheel and vision of the road.

They can also give you security and the peace of mind of knowing when ADAS systems they are active and what they are actually "seeing", giving drivers a better understanding of the capabilities and limitations of these safety systems.

Head-up displayThese are the ten things to know about this technology, increasingly common in our lives.

WHAT ARE THEY?

A head-up display is a system that projects information -on the windshield or on a specific support, such as a methacrylate plate- in the driver's field of vision.

WHY DO THEY INCREASE SAFETY?

The idea behind this invention is for the driver to keep his head up (hence its English name) and don't have to take your eyes off the road for basic information. At 120 km / h, 34 meters per second are traveled, so a simple glance to see how fast we are going or how much gasoline we have left can leave us 100 meters “blind”.

WHO INVENTED THEM?

Head-up displayThe HUD come from aeronautics and were invented at the end of the Second World War. The fighter Havilland Mosquito was the first to incorporate it, with a system that reflected radar information and an artificial horizon onto a glass plate at the pilot's eye level.

HOW DID THEY GET TO THE AUTOMOBILE INDUSTRY?

Many war veterans entered the American automobile industry at the end of World War II and proposed bringing the HUDs they had seen on fighter jets to cars. The concept car Chevrolet Corvette Mako Shark II of 1965 proposed this system, but General Motors It did not have the necessary technology to make it happen until it acquired the aeronautical manufacturer in 1985 Hughes Aircraft.

WHAT WAS THE FIRST CAR TO INCORPORATE THEM?

Head-up displayThe first car with an operational head-up display was the limited series Indy Pace Car  of Oldsmobile Cutlass Convertible of 1988. The technology of the Hughes airplanes was used: a screen of fluorescent tube to the empty (VFD) with a reflective optics that projected the image on a conventional windshield. This system generated a virtual image of a digital speedometer and some witnesses, in the driver's line of sight, just above the hood. But the first manufacturer to bring it to the big series was Nissan, In the 240 SX and Maxima of 1989.

WHAT SYSTEMS ARE THERE CURRENTLY?

It could be said that There are two main types of head-up display. On the one hand, there are those that project the information on the windshield or those that offer the information on a small translucent screen between the dashboard and the windshield. In both cases they can come with the car (standard, or as an option) or purchased as an accessory.

WHAT INFORMATION CAN YOU PROJECT?

Head-up displayFrom the first HUDs to the current ones there has been an enormous evolution. Today's most complete systems can be configured and designed virtually any information on the windshield, from the navigator indication arrows to a G-force meter.

WHAT IS A REALITY AUGMENTED HEAD-UP DISPLAY?

Today's most advanced projection systems are capable of displaying information in more depth and superimposed on an exact location in the real world that the driver sees through the windshield. For instance, a checkered flag may appear on the facade of the restaurant that we mark as destination, red marks on the lines of the road we are walking on or a turn arrow on the street to turn.

CAN YOU PROJECT IMAGES?

Head-up displayTechnically could project any image, although by their very nature, head-up displays only show letters, numbers, graphics and icons. Huawei has shown a model in the last Munich Motor Show which can turn your car windshield into a smart screen. It offers a wide viewing angle of 13 x 5 degrees and Full resolution on a large format screen, so you can display high definition videos, video games or video calls, whenever the car is stopped.

WHAT WILL THEY BRING US IN THE FUTURE?

This technology is constantly evolving and augmented reality applications will become more and more precise and complex. Panasonic has shown another possible advance: eye-tracking technology to project information onto the driver's line of sight, based on their eye position. A stability algorithm will allow the image not to jitter with bumps in the road.

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Automundo

Automundo is the blog about news from the automotive industry, motorsport and the culture of the region. Director: Diego Durruty.

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