I just saw an interesting article about some research GM is doing that is aimed at eventually having cars equipped with a HUD (Head Up Display).
The article goes out of it’s way to emphasize the fact that this is intended to benefit older drivers but it’s plainly obvious that such a system could easily benefit any driver regardless of age. (I guess they’re pushing the ‘good for older drivers’ thing because the boomer generation is getting up there in years.)
It’s based on a clear coating on the windshield that glows when hit by ultraviolet light. A computer driven laser will paint things on the screen to enhance stuff already in view. such as paint a line on the windshield that follows the edge of the road so that it’s easier to keep track of in dark, foggy or rainy conditions. That function alone would be worth the whole project in my opinion.
If the system detects a person or animal in the road it will put an outline around them on the windshield, which will make sure they’re seen, avoiding countless collisions. If a driver is speeding it would put a pink box around an approaching speed limit sign to call their attention to it.
I think it’d also be very helpful to allow the driver to set the system to display the most commonly used dashboard instruments on the windshield. Not full images of the instruments, but a digital readout for speed, fuel, engine temp, oil pressure, essential fluid levels, Etc. That way there would be that many fewer things that would have the driver looking away from the view ahead because the main instrumentation would be part of that view.
[Tags]gm, head up display, hud, avoid collsions, ultraviolet coating[/tags]