Windy eyebrows remind us of science fiction

With the advent of augmented reality, we can expect developments in many areas, starting with a small revolution in automotive windshields.

Bertrand godin
special cooperation

The time when each driver, behind the wheel of his car, is free to see the images projected directly into his field of vision not far away.

PHOTO FRANÇOIS ROY, press archives

In 2022, the Automotive Department welcomes on its screens Bertrand Godin, a well-known figure in motorsport for more than 30 years. Speaker, coach, columnist, spokesperson, ambassador and man committed to his community, Bertrand Godin will now introduce you to the latest automotive technologies, and guide you through his driving advice.

We will find real-time roadside assistance and we will be able to see at any time how fast we are going. Depending on the models developed, we will have information before our eyes to find places of interest, take advantage of geolocation, calculate the braking distance, reduce blind spots, or even, why not, photos for the simple entertainment of passengers. .

How will it all be done? Not that complicated.

At the wheel of his car, the driver will see these connected images appear in the real world, and 3D holographic screens will be projected on part of his windshield, even on the side windows of his car.

In some cases, passengers will be able to interact with the information displayed there.

Science fiction? The technology of the future? never. Today, the technology is known as “Augmented Reality Heads-Up Display”, and it is the latest game for automakers who intend to use it to attract their customers. And you have to realize that the potential is really attractive.

builders at work

So far, although the pandemic has dampened some enthusiasm, many automakers are actively working on this type of technology, each with their own variables, ambitions and innovations.

Currently, for example, the Swiss company WayRay is working with car manufacturers such as Porsche and Hyundai to introduce this type of windshield in the near future. The product can be found in future generations of their cars.

With this new windshield equipped with a 3D augmented reality screen, they promise the driver crisp virtual images and unparalleled depth of color.

Volvo, for its part, is working in the same direction and also intends to change the experience of driving in cars for its customers. This Swedish company has invested two million dollars in a start Israeli specialist in optical and imaging techniques.

At Volvo, we are talking about a transparent film that attaches to the windshield and can serve as a screen. Their technology is based on the display of images capable of widening the driver’s field of vision, providing a feeling of distance from the elements displayed, while ensuring a good visualization of the road.

This year in the famous At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Panasonic went ahead at the same time by presenting a windshield that mixes augmented reality and ceiling display, all displayed in 4K resolution, just like its televisions. .

Finally, in Jaguar Land Rover we increase the cost by developing a prototype that brings us closer to the video game, since it includes certain elements that players will be familiar with. With this technology, we rely on a lane calculation module that can guide the driver before turning.

A green check mark is displayed? All is well. The driver has the perfect speed to turn. Display a red flag? It’s very fast ! You will need to slow down to stay safe.

But we are still working today on a concept that would allow cameras to be placed under the vehicle in order to view the ground, only to see the obstacles present and perform the necessary maneuvers.

Against this background, it is easy to imagine that automakers will compete brilliantly to make this new technology a new necessity.

security goal

However, faced with this information, a question quickly arises in the head of any driver, namely: with this future windshield, what is the focus behind the wheel?

In this regard, we are assured that the technology will be used precisely so that the driver can constantly follow the road, with the ability to scroll through the information with a swipe gesture that will not affect his driving in any way.

In fact, this type of display is seen by many as a way to ensure the safety of drivers who, as we know, are often distracted by observing external monitors in their cars. The same goes for the touch screens of the dashboards which, suddenly, would no longer have any reason to be there.

Displayed directly in the driver’s field of vision, the information will now reach him without having to look away. This will only improve driver awareness.

Automakers should subtly compete to be convincing because the rewards are well worth it. Some predict that by 2023, this technology could be worth more than $ 1 billion.

It must be said that augmented reality has proven itself. Military aviation has used it for years. Taking advantage of this technology while driving is actually just a natural progression. An evolution which brings its share of new data, enough to pave the way for the development of autonomous driving.

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About Donald P. Hooten

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