Continental has unveiled an industry-first full-color demonstrator of an automotive-specific Augmented Reality Head-up Display (AR-HUD). The demonstrator is based on waveguide technology and Continental made it in collaboration with DigiLens Inc., one of the world’s leading experts in projection technology.
HUDs having graphic augmentations in a real-world view can give drivers guidance as where their attention is required and why. Examples include virtual turn-by-turn navigation signs on the road to make driving safer and easier. In the case of an automated vehicle, an AR-HUD can be used to make the “sensing” and “planning” of the vehicle more transparent.
Dr. Frank Rabe, Head of the Continental business unit Instrumentation & Driver HMI said that head-up Displays, especially those with large-area augmentation, can provide optimum driver support. Continental invested early on in waveguide technology and is thus now able to make ultra-compact AR-HUDs, thus successfully tackling the barrier of the instrument size. It has thus now become possible to use this technology in the vehicle.
Flat waveguides replace mirror technology
Until very recently, AR-HUDs were still being developed based on mirror technology, as in the case of the windscreen HUD. This is not however an option for the AR-HUD, as the display area of a conventional HUD is small by comparison.
“Most vehicles simply do not offer a large amount of space. That was clear from day one, and that is why we wanted a different solution in order to be able to offer the AR-HUD benefits to as many drivers as possible,” said Dr. Pablo Richter, Principal Expert Optical Technologies at Continental.
This prompted Continental to enter into a strategic partnership with the waveguide HUD expert DigiLens in 2016 and to expand this participation in 2018. The outcome of this collaboration is the first full-colour demonstrator, which uses three flat waveguides stacked over one another to create the RGB colour space – and no mirrors.
“The light rays from the projector enter the multi-layer waveguide from underneath. They get folded inside the waveguide and are finally projected upwards to create the virtual image through reflection on the windscreen,” Richter explained. “One of the many challenges was that while our development partner had produced solutions for the helmet visors of pilots or motorcycle drivers, the large-area application to a windscreen takes the technology to a whole different dimension.”
Continental´s demonstrator facilitates augmentations within a field of 2,60 metres x 0,87 metres with the projection distance being 10 metres. It deals with the previous size issue of the AR-HUD. Many tweaks will be needed over the course of ongoing development and these will be made individually for vehicle application.
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.
Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *
© 2017 Morjan Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.