GM's full windshield head-up display technology, combined with night vision technology, allows for objects, such as deer, to be highlighted for the driver, preventing potential accidents.

© General Motors

The Evolution of Head-Up Displays

General Motors introduced the first heads-up display in a car in 1988 and the systems were originally used for showing speed, tachometer and other basic readings from the dashboard. But as the technology advanced, much more sophisticated and critical information is being displayed.

The original head-up displays are being replaced with newer technology called augmented reality (AR). These AR systems are the new version of head-up displays, but are far more advanced. ARs can integrate with GPS systems, infrared cameras, the Internet and mobile apps to turn your car's windshield into an on-board information screen. Think of the movie "Minority Report" without all the swiping hand gestures.

So what does this mean? Well, imagine you're taking a long road trip and you have no idea where you're going. There's going to be lots of turns in an unfamiliar city. If your car is equipped with a heads-up display, your car's windshield will highlight the lane you need to be in and when you need to turn.

The directions won't be on a small screen you'll have to glance down at. Instead, they'll be overlaid on top of what you're actually seeing in the real world. Your mobile app will be able to send information about gas prices and restaurant ratings and display that information on the windshield as you drive past the businesses. Imagine seeing customer ratings hovering over a restaurant as you drive past it, or seeing the store's business hours without having to drive up to the front door to take a look.