We're glad to see EE Times delving into the future of augmeted reality HUD, especially from a processing perspective, which is where it appears the sources for this article are based.
I want to respectfully suggest that not all solutions leading to a very wide FOV and appealing HUD lie with the chipmakers, however, although they play a central role in smoothing quickly rendered display of imagery used for navigation and ADAS HMI.
The company leading small form factor A/R HUD is MVS-California, in San Jose, California. Customers using that 3D, volumetric A/R HUD are beginning to expose their super wide FOV HMI plans to the world, through conferences and technical meetups. I notice none of those sources was quoted here, unfortunately, which is a shame because some of them are happy to let their researchers speak to the press.
Please go back to Strategy Analytics for additional information. They have recently updated a study on automotive display in which the state of augmented reality HUD is pretty thoroughly analyzed and its leaders identified.
It simply isn't possible to build a small in-dash A/R HUD by focusing exclusively, or even primarily, on better chips or SOCs, although those play a signficant supporting role. The optomechanic design leads, first and foremost. Projection and optomechanics are exquisitely archane fields in which chipmakers do not specialize.
NVIDIA and TI have every reason to be bullish on the future of large-scale, crisply defined Head Up Display. But the designs that will actually fit into a car, and those whose components will make such a design feasible, and affordable for average drivers, will come from specialist HUD design teams, not from chip makers whose business is spread across many competing display types. These entities have to work together, with chip makers following the lead of the HUD design teams.
Junko and others with concerns about the windshield... The HUD being launched with OEMS by MVS California does NOT require a special glass, or any coating *on* that glass.
Our HUD is designed to eliminate fault-prone or expensive features like coated glass, or head- and eye-tracking.
Once installed in a prodution vehicle, you - the consumer - should be able to call one of those ordinary glass installers and have your windshield swapped out the old fashioned way. Provided the installer keeps his or her hands off the dash-level opening to the projector unit.
Honestly, no good HUD for passenger cars will demand special glass. That is an invitation to obsolescence. Neither will good HUDs for cars use pop-up combiners either. You *can* use a pop-down or up combiner if you must... and on trucks and larger vehicles, such a feature may be completely acceptable to the consumer.
But in the luxury market, and eventually the mid-range and economy cars, you really must have a HUD that uses only the windshield itself. Only windshields with out-sized curvature would run afoul of our current design. Nearly all current production windshields would do just fine.
The trick is to float this HUD technology down inside existing automotive IP, without demanding that OEMs radically alter anything down there under the dash. And consumers need to be free to move their heads a lot, and preferably not use a combiner at all, beyond their market standard windshield glass.
The secret sauce is all under the dashboard, folks. The glass has very little to do with it.
If you have seen the computer displays for self-driving cars you get the idea for what should show up on HUD displays for the driver. This could be an opportunity to focus the driver's attention on what they should be seeing rather than distract it with what they should not. Imagine a display that implements augmented reality to point out a pedestrian or bicyclist with color-coding to indicate the level of attention needed. I could see this as an intermediate step before full self-driving vehicles.
@Larry, totally agree. If the HUD could help us drivers see better, by highlighting a pedestrian or a cyclist in the dark or rain, this is definitely worth it. Before I began looking into this, I was a total skeptic. But when I realized that the progress of HUD is moving ahead in lockstep with Advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), I realized that this is going to be not just practical but useful.
Leaving distraction to driver aside, there are still tremedous challenges to projecting information on the windshield. The most obvious one will be how the information on the windshield being shown under bright sunlight. To overpower the brightness from the Sun is definitely not easy.
HUD? Hey, I still don't have keyless entry or an MP3 connection in my Honda CRV. My next car will hav that. I'm not sure I'm going to live long enough to own a car with an HUD. When does that come to a mainstream model?
Hi, Rick. Well, if you want HUD, you can actually buy those after-market HUD from Garmin or Pioneer. The one from Pioneer (based on DLP technology) looks very nice, but it still costs close to $1,000. Not cheap, for sure.
However, from what I understand, these HUDs are going downstream pretty quickly...you may get your HUD-preinstalled car by 2020.
True, chanj. A number of different technology elements need to come together in enabling the automotive HUD. Advancements of films, glasses and other materials for the windshiled will all play a big role.
When I first heard about "augmented reality" for HUD, I had thought this was just a gimmick. But now, having seen some demos and pictures of what carmakers are putting in, I am convinced that this will be more than that. The advancements of ADAS will be also a big part of it, I think.
I would expect the windshield itself to become the screen, eventually? No? Perhaps edge-lit. The windshield would be the matrix digital display.
Difficulties I can see include first and foremost, to decide what info to put on the windshield. Typically, it would be a very small amount of info. Anything more becomes a distraction. I can see your arrow idea, associated with GPS directions, makes sense. But to put a bunch of gauges up there doesn't make sense. It might be done as a sales gimmick, but it will end up being distracting.
The other problem is nighttime vs daytime brightness. At night, especially when driving on unlit roads, that windshield display has to be exceedingly dim. Otherwise, it will take away your night vision. Perhaps it would also need to be red, for that same reason. Imagine missing dark shapes in front of you, because some HUD object is blinding you to them.
Focusing distance may also be a problem, although maybe that's also a problem with regular instrument panels. You don't want people to spend too much time focusing on the HUD image in front of them, and simultaneously fuzzing out traffic around them.
Bert22306 makes excellent points about uncluttering the HUD view, with special sensitivity to night vision, maintaining necessary "driver-in-the-loop" acuity. We share many of these views. OEMs vary enormously in their treatment of augmented reality HUD, of course. Some quite conservative, others less so.
We have found that the 11 o'clock high position for TBT navigation is best, and most consistent with research done previously by NASA to help pilots navigate runways safely (and at night, maintaining peripheral vision without developing tunneling).
While I personally am not a fan of the "rip all content from the center stack and throw it into the HUD" approach, I imagine we will see a few of those in the early R&D stages. Once A/R HUD nears production (2016-17, trucks then cars), we may expect a consensus to have been arrived at around safe protocols.
One important quality of the very adept deep-field Augmented Reality HUD as developed by the MVS team is that it can portray images far, far in the distance, or nearer, to within 1 meter of location accuracy - and that window is getting tighter every year. So the aim is not to "create images" that don't belong in the driver's view, but preferbly - delicately, exquisitely - to simply light up, very subtly, those objects upcoming that a driver really *needs* to see.
For TBT navigation, we consistently recommend an 11 o'clock position, although the HUD can do "arrow on the ground" just as effectively. It's wonderful to hear such intelligent feedback on the subject.
@Bert, good points all around. Not to clutter HUD with too much information is definitely the key.
Some car makers are already saying that drivers can select what info to put up on the HUD.
The last thing I want to see carmakers putting in is a text msg from a driver's mobile on HUD.
But on the second thought, when peopel are getting in traffic accidents because they can't restrain themselves from taking a peak at text msgs on their phones, maybe, putting it up on HUD could save people's lives...
This certainly will increase the cost of a windshield. I wonder by how much. I had to replace my windshield twice in the last 7 years due to stone damages. What if a stone hits my windshield: is the display damaged as well? How about ice in cold regions or direct sun exposure (UV) in hot regions? This may be a novelty for a long time until it becomes more lucrative for the average consumer.
@Descartes, definitely, the cost of a windshield will go up. But as 3DHUD was saying, the holy grail for HUD might not even be the wide field of view, which I had suggested in the article. Depending on what a driver wants to see on HUD and how he wants to use HUD, it could be a small portion of the windshield that projects that infromation...or alternatively, you always have an option to go for "Combiner" HUD, which will use a separate pop up display.
@sheetal, I respectfully disagree. See my response in another thread. I think this will be helpful for drivers, as it can alert objects that the drivers might not have spotted. Besides, when we begin to have so many displays to deal with inside a car (instrument cluster, radio, backup view display, GPS, etc) having an intelligent screen, in HUD, to display ONLY the absolutely relevant information the driver needs at that ceritical moment makes sense.
Yes, and as Larry and 3DHUD point out, the HUD could be used to enhance dark objects on a dark night. That makes a lot of sense.
My purpose for chiming in again is to say that from what 3DHUD said, it appears that the HUD image is using the windshield as a screen, then, reflecting the image projected by the unit under the dashboard. Pretty clever. That eliminates anything special about the windshield.
My 13 year-old Cadillac has a factory-installed HUD which projects on to the windshield, hooked up to a passive infrared detector which is located in the middle of the grille. It works great at night, especially when on dark and winding roads with deer and other critters lurking around.
What is the technology behind the modern fighter aircraft HUDs and how is that different from the technology behind the automobile HUDs? Also what would be the approx. cost difference between normal wind shields vs. HUD wind shield?