techno | Wind eyebrows remind us of science fiction

With the advent of augmented reality, we can expect developments in many areas, starting with a small revolution in automobile windshields.


Bertrand Godin

Bertrand Godin
special cooperation

The time when each driver, behind the wheel of his car, is free to see the projected images appear directly in his field of view not far away.

PHOTO FRANÇOIS ROY, press archives

In 2022, the Automotive Department welcomes Bertrand Godin, a figure known in motorsports for more than 30 years, to its screens. Speaker, coach, columnist, spokesperson, ambassador, and man committed to his community, Bertrand Godin will now introduce you to the latest automotive technology, and guide you through his driving tips.

We will find roadside assistance in real time and we can see at any time how fast we are driving. Depending on the models developed, we will have information right in front of our eyes to find places of interest, take advantage of geolocation, calculate braking distance, reduce blind spots, or even, why not, photos for simple entertainment of passengers.

How will all this be achieved? Not that complicated.

At the wheel of his car, the driver will see these connected images appear in the real world, and 3D holographic screens will be projected onto part of his windshield, if not on his car’s side windows.

In some cases, passengers will be able to interact with the information displayed there.

Science Fiction? The future’s technology? never. Today, the technology is known as the “Augmented Reality Head-Up Display,” and it’s the latest game for car manufacturers who intend to take advantage of it to entice their customers. And we must realize that the potential is really attractive.

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builders at work

So far, even if the pandemic has dampened some enthusiasm, many car manufacturers are actively working on this type of technology, each with its own variables, ambitions and innovations.

Currently, for example, the Swiss company WayRay is working with car manufacturers such as Porsche and Hyundai to introduce this type of windshield in the near future. The product may end up in future generations of their cars.

With this new windshield equipped with a screen with 3D augmented reality, they promise the driver clear virtual images and unparalleled color depth.

Volvo, for its part, is working in the same direction and also intends to change the car ride experience for its customers. This Swedish company invested two million dollars in a start Israeli specialist in optical and imaging techniques.

At Volvo, we are talking about a transparent film that is attached to the windshield and can be used as a screen. Their technology is based on displaying images capable of expanding the driver’s field of view, providing a sense of distance from the displayed items, while ensuring a good visualization of the road.

This year, in the famous At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Panasonic went ahead at the same time by introducing a windshield that mixes augmented reality and an overhead display, all displayed in 4K resolution, like its televisions.

Finally, in Jaguar Land Rover, we are increasing the cost by developing a prototype that brings us closer to video games, since it includes certain elements that players will be familiar with. With this technology, we rely on a lane-compute module that can guide the driver before turning.

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A green tick is displayed? All is well. The driver has the perfect speed to turn. Show a red flag? It’s very fast! You will have to slow down to stay safe.

But we are now still working on a concept that would allow cameras to be placed under the vehicle in order to visualize the ground, only to see the obstacles present and perform the required maneuvering.

In this context, it is easy to imagine that auto manufacturers will compete brilliantly to make this new technology a new necessity.

safety goal

However, in front of this information, a question quickly arises in the head of any driver, namely: with this future windshield, what is the focus behind the wheel?

In this aspect, we are assured, that technology will be used precisely so that the driver can constantly follow the road, with the ability to scroll through the information with a swipe gesture that will not in any way affect his driving.

In fact, this type of display is seen by many as a way to ensure the safety of drivers who, as we know, are often distracted by observing the external monitors in their cars. The same goes for dashboard touchscreens that, all of a sudden, would have no reason to be there.

Displayed directly in the driver’s field of view, the information will now reach them without having to look away. As such, driver awareness will only be improved.

Automakers are expected to compete subtly to be convincing, because the rewards are so worth it. Some predict that by 2023, this technology could be worth more than $1 billion.

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It must be said that augmented reality has proven itself. Military aviation has been using it for years. Taking advantage of this technology behind the wheel is actually just the natural progression of things. An evolution that brings in its share of new data, enough to pave the way for the development of autonomous driving.

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