Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Innovation in motoring

Augmented Reality Windshield Displays

In development for several years the BMW Group, for starters, is finally taking the wraps off of what has been highly conceptual work. Augmented reality has been with us in our lives on our smart phones since 2008 but the technology has the potential to be much more to benefit how we drive, including improvements to safety.

So, BMW, it has been announced, will start with this in the high end models and roll it out along all models before long. It then goes without saying that other brands are working on their own versions. Let the race begin in getting it to market first!!

When can I get one? Think within a decade rather than next year. Hopefully we will see something a bit sooner.

With BMW’s version the display on the windscreen is directly congruent with the real world. The driver’s attention can be specifically alerted to information or hazards, so that he can respond quickly and in an appropriate manner.

Turning manoeuvres and lane recommendations are shown in such a way that they appear to be directly mapped onto the road ahead. Drivers will no longer need to correlate the abstract image from a map to the road in front of them. Instead, the map is on the road and displayed in front of the driver on the windscreen.

Other information that could potentially be projected in this way include lane boundaries, lane departure warnings, night time highlighting of pedestrians, and even recommendations for evasive manoeuvres into other lanes, complete with marked out paths.

Will this make us better drivers, or just help us not get lost? I guess time will tell, but I’m sure this will become an innovation that will become the norm in cars of the future.

Image Source: BMW

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