Satellite navigation producer Garmin has revealed its new head-up display (HUD) technology, which pairs with existing Garmin smartphone apps to project speed, navigation and other vehicle information onto car windscreens.
The HUD unit, which sits on top of a car’s dash, syncs with app-enabled smartphones via Bluetooth to display directions within the driver’s line of sight.
Directions are spoken through either the smartphone’s speaker or a Bluetooth-equipped car’s speakers.
Garmin claims its head-up display places more details in the driver’s view than any other unit, including the car’s current speed, the speed limit, as well as turn arrows, distance to the next turn and estimated time of arrival.
The unit also tells drivers what lane they should be in on the approach to making a turn.
The aftermarket technology is argued to increase motoring safety by minimising the time a driver spends looking away from the road. Until recently it had only been available as a costly built-in option for new cars.
The unit’s reveal coincides with a study by research firm IHS Automotive, which suggests that head-up displays present “unique safety implications”.
Although the technology means that drivers do not have to look down to view navigation screens, the firm says that it may result in drivers not focusing on their main task – driving.
The same study predicted that worldwide sales of aftermarket head-up displays would increase from 1.2 million last year to 9.1 million by 2020. This does not include sales of cars with factory-fitted displays, estimated to be nine per cent of all cars sold by 2020, up from two per cent in 2012.
The Garmin HUD unit starts from US$129.99 (AU$141).