Augmented reality (AR) head-up displays (HUDs) are the next evolution toward creating a better driving experience. … By placing graphics directly in the driver’s line of sight that interact with and augment real world objects, AR HUDs can significantly improve driver situational awareness.

Augmented reality (AR) is used to place digital information on top of the real world. Mercedes-Benz’s MBUX navigation system head-up display (HUD) on the 2021 Mercedes S-class does this with floating arrows to inform the driver where to turn. It’s a helpful feature that reduces the need to look away from the road while using navigation. Panasonic Automotive has gone a few steps further with its own AR HUD that it unveiled at the annual CES technology conference.

Head-up displays have evolved beyond the bulky in-console navigation units from only a few years ago. Today, tier suppliers and aftermarket manufacturers have introduced head-up display systems for the auto market that project speed, compass direction, warning messages, radio information — and soon even Yelp reviews — right on the windshield itself.

In the near future augmented reality head-up displays will help to make driving even more comfortable and safe. This generation of HUDs supplements the exterior view of the traffic conditions in front of the vehicle with virtual information (augmentations) for the driver.

  • The augmented reality head-up display differs from a normal windshield-HUD since the reflected information appears to be part of the driving situation itself
  • When navigating, for example, a virtual symbol inserted precisely into the exterior view marks the route that the driver should follow on the road ahead
  • When distance controls (adaptive cruise control, ACC) are enabled, a marking in the AR-HUD visualizes which vehicle in front is detected by the assistance system

In a world that is becoming increasingly complex, the AR-HUD relieves the burden on the driver because what the driver’s eyes see is directly connected with explanatory information.
This leads to a new quality of information that allows the driver to register the driving situation they are in even faster – essential for more safety and comfort.

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