Augmented Reality Head-up Display

AR-HUD Features

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.
Therefore the AR-HUD is an important step in the direction of holistic interaction concepts in vehicles for a more comfortable, more economic, and safer driving experience. Drivers receive all the important information before their eyes in an easily comprehensible way. This is an important next step against driver distraction and sensory overload in the future.

AR-HUD Technology

The AR-HUD moves virtual information directly into the driver’s line of sight. It inserts full-color graphics into the real road view in an approximately 130 cm-wide and over 60 cm-high section of the driver’s field of vision at a distance of 7.5 meters. The basis for this is provided by digital micro-mirror device (DMD) technology, which is also used in digital cinema projectors. Continental will bring this projection technology into series production as early as in 2016. Three possible applications are realized in connection with driver assistance systems in the Continental demo vehicle as an example: The AR-HUD supports the driver if the vehicle is in danger of unintentionally drifting out of a lane. The AR-HUD also supports the use of ACC (adaptive cruise control). When ACC is enabled, a crescent-shaped marking in the AR-HUD highlights the vehicle in front that is detected by the electronics. The AR-HUD also reflects navigation information in the real exterior view. This leads to the driver knowing which turning they have to take, without having to look back and forth between the navigation screen and the real world.

This starts a new interaction between the vehicle and the driver. The vehicle shows the driver what the assistance systems can see and what they are doing. This creates trust and will therefore also help to create acceptance for current and future driving functions, as for example automated driving.

The development of an AR-HUD requires a lot of know-how in different automotive fields. You need experience with HUD technology, driver assistance systems and data handling in order to generate an augmentation in the AR-Creator which perfectly fits to the current driving situation. Based on camera and radar data from the vehicle sensors, taking into account the vehicle dynamics data from the vehicle, and helped by digital map data and GPS positioning, the control unit calculates a model of the real exterior view from the driver’s perspective and can thus generate the augmentations at the correct visual point.