The current crop of head-up display technology is hardly the stuff of science fiction, relying on the reflection from a precisely mounted screen to display data on the windshield.
Now General Motors of all companies has enlisted the support of several universities to develop a system which would use data gathered from an array of sensors and project images onto the entire surface of the windshield.
While the full windshield head-up display has not yet been identified for any production vehicles, the technology could end up in GM vehicles in the near-term future.
“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,” says Thomas Seder, group lab manager-GM R&D.
To achieve this effect, the windshield has been coated with a series of transparent phosphors which emit visible light when excited by a light beam.
It would also combine existing technologies such as night vision with the head-up system to help drivers become more aware of their surroundings.
“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,” Seder said
In addition to this, the head-up system can be combined with automated sign reading technology to alert the driver if they are driving over the posted speed limit or if there’s impending construction or other potential problems ahead.