How Head-up Displays Work

Safety Benefits of Head-Up Displays

Head-up displays are much more than just a novelty or a new way of viewing navigation directions. If the HUD system is paired with on-board cameras and adaptive cruise control it could very well be one of the best safety systems your car has ever seen. You know, aside from your seat belts, brakes, airbags, ABS and so on.

Why is an HUD system in the same category as these? Well, let's take a common weather problem that causes major safety hazards for drivers as an example -- fog. Newer HUD systems can use infrared cameras to detect where the lines on the road are and project them on the windshield exactly where they appear in real life. Take a minute to process that. Heads-up displays can project objects that are there, but that you can't see!

The same can be done to display a car ahead of you that you can't see. The HUD system will use cameras and GPS to locate the car and then display an image of it on your windshield, complete with information about its distance from your vehicle.

Now let's take it one step further. Not only can head-up displays tell you how far ahead the car in front of you is, it'll also be able to show you how to maneuver around another car to avoid an accident or other road hazards. Some adaptive cruise control systems already make safety calculations to determine the best route for a car around a certain situation, but the next step is to actually project that information, in real-time, on the car's windshield.

We won't be driving blind in the fog, rain or snowstorms anymore. Our cars will see what we simply can't, and then show us as if we're seeing it ourselves. HUD is here, and we may never see driving the same way again.