Panasonic has revealed its next-generation vehicle display system with augmented reality (AR) technology at the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
According to Panasonic, this is one of the world's most sophisticated HUD systems, capable of projecting large virtual images in the driver's eye line, using AR to enhance the real world with HUD-generated imagery.
In tandem, HUD with AR gives the driver more information and can even warn him of potential dangers. This system also replaces the traditional instrument cluster by having all the infor run through the HUD - which means that many of the car's physical controls are replaced as well.
While Panasonic's HUD system is very compact, it's still capable of projecting very large virtual images of up to 12-degrees horizontal and 5-degrees vertical into the driver's line of sight, at a distance of 10 meters (33 feet) in front of the vehicle. In total, the system uses eight cameras: rear, front, night vision, a down side view camera, two additional side view cameras and two cameras which track the driver's head and eyes.
These cameras will not only detect the side of the road and use this reference points to place the AR imagery in front of the driver, but also update the AR imagery according to the movements of the driver's head.
"Every day on our roads, drivers are subjected to multiple distractions. At Panasonic we want to make the business of driving as enjoyable, safe and comfortable as possible, which is why we have developed this next-generation Head Up Display system," said head of Panasonic's Infotainment division in Europe, Andreas Heitmann.
"Paired with Augmented Reality and multiple cameras, its capability is enormous and it will make the lives of drivers much simpler and more enjoyable when behind the wheel. We’re very much looking forward to introducing this technology in the near future – watch this space."
The technology is currently being demonstrated on a specially-adapted Electric Vehicle, however it can be applied to any new vehicle as the whole system runs from a single computer platform.