Since its introduction in the automotive sector, head-up display (HUD) has changed the name of the safe driving game—and now Panasonic wants to take it a step further. The electronics company has just debuted its idea of what an augmented HUD display would be at the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show—and it’s going to make driving a hell of a lot easier.
In its most basic form, HUD in cars generally consists of a transparent panel onto which critical information is displayed—speed, tachometer, and navigation. The purpose is reducing the need for taking your eyes off the road, since the info you need looks like it’s displayed on the road.
Panasonic’s newest HUD system, though, uses artificial intelligence and a 4k camera to analyze everything in the driver’s line of sight. It then uses AI to determine what might be most important, then projects 3D images onto any potential obstacles or highlights crucial information. So, it will pinpoint a cyclist riding along next to you as well as help you know when to merge lanes. You’ll still get speed and directions, but they’ll be way more enhanced.
In addition, Panasonic says its HUD system will also feature the following:
- Eye-tracking technology to project information at a driver’s eye level while also following the driver’s eye movements to avoid a mismatch in display.
- Advanced optics to provide a field of view of 30 feet or greater, including during nighttime conditions.
- Vibration control that keeps images stable even when driving over bumpy roads.
- Real-time updates provided in less than 300 milliseconds.
It’s a seriously cool idea, and Panasonic has said that it has designed the technology to fit into virtually any vehicle cockpit. It would definitely make driving a much more robust experience, and it also seems like it could be a really helpful transition into autonomous technology. If we can trust our cars to give us all of this other up-to-date information, it’ll be a lot easier to one day take our hands off the wheels.
Of course, this is CES, which means that this particular technology is more of a cool idea than a guaranteed future—but it does seem like a totally feasible thing to do. Panasonic’s partner in this whole endeavor, Envisics, has stated that we can start to expect this tech to hit the market around 2023.