According to ABI Research, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) automotive applications will redefine the driving an ownership experience, turning it into a safer, smooth, and intuitive activity.
Particularly, AR Heads-Up Displays (HUDs) will enable state-of-the-art autonomous operation by “painting” 3D navigation instructions onto road geometry, emphasizing moving obstacles such as crossing pedestrians, and improving driver awareness of and trust in autonomous operation. By 2025, over 15 million AR HUDs will ship, with over 11 million to-be-embedded solutions.
Dominique Bonte, Managing Director and Vice President at ABI Research, says that automotive OEMs have to address technological challenges before AR HUDs foray into the mainstream market. He adds that these include how to capture and interpret road geometry through computing precise vehicle positioning, intensive sensor fusion, driver monitoring through inward facing cameras, laser projection and designing sophisticated algorithms to produce precise augmentation content in the viewing field of the driver.
Some of the key car OEMs exploring AR interfaces include Ford, faraday Future, JLR, Hyundai, and PSA. Suppliers Continental and its subsidiary Elektrobit, as well as WayRay and Denso, are also included. AR technology extends beyond HUDs, with other use cases including AR manuals which Ford and Audi recently rolled out, and “see-through” applications that merge vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications with AR and upcoming 5G low latency broadband connectivity to improve driver visibility.
Car OEMs such as Volvo and Mercedes-Benz, in collaboration with Microsoft/HoloLens, are exploring VR automotive applications through virtual pre-sales experiences to improve online vehicle sales business models. Faraday Future also utilizes VR to design vehicles, cutting down costs on building prototypes and speeding up time to market.
In spite of the advantages of both AR and VR technology, with automotive OEMs anticipating augmented reality applications to transform vehicle production and maintenance processes, AR HUDs in the risk of cognitive overload caused by displaying advertising messages or other types of secondary, infotainment information.
Bonte concludes that it will be important to use AR sparingly, in a minimalistic way, and only to display pertinent, contextual information when necessary to enhance the driver’s perception of the road environment and reducing response times.
Hamid Moaref has always been fascinated by cars and the automotive industry. His family has a longstanding association with the industry and has been in the tire business for the past 35 years. Raised in Dubai, Hamid attended Capilano University in Vancouver where he graduated with a BBA in marketing before attending an intensive course in magazine publishing in 2005. He has been the publisher and chief editor of Tires & Parts magazine for the past ten years.
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