Heads-up displays have been around for years, but it was only recently that the technology was perfected. For those unfamiliar with the term, a heads-up display projects an image onto the car’s windshield, just under the driver’s line of sight.
Why do drivers want heads-up displays? They are an efficient way to show a lot of data at once without requiring the driver to take their eyes off the road. In other words, it is both practical and safe.
Types of Heads-Up Displays
In general, there are three types of heads-up displays (also known as HUDs). First, there are the in-car models. These are designed by automakers and thus fully integrated with the car. Internal HUDs can allow for an advanced level of communication between the driver and automobile.
Next, there are HUD apps. These are generally cheaper, as one doesn’t need to buy an entire car specifically for this purpose. A HUD app will typically reflect an image onto the windshield, though it won’t be as integrated as the first option.
Finally, there are third-party heads-up displays available. These small units can be added on top of a dashboard, where they will project similar data to the integrated version. While these models are cheaper, a good model can cost up to a thousand dollars.
One of the primary reasons a driver purchases a HUD (or an automobile with a HUD) is safety. HUDs reduce multitasking because all of the information a driver requires is all in one location. This reduces the need to take eyes off the road while still monitoring the car’s needs.
Naturally, this increases safety at the same time. Furthermore, a car with integrated safety systems can use the HUD to alert drivers to any potential problems. This takes safety tech another step in the right direction.
Another helpful feature for drivers is that newer HUD models now have a GPS function. In other words, they will project maps onto the windshield, once again limiting the need to take eyes off the road.
As with any new piece of technology, there are potential downsides one must consider. In this case, the downsides are very similar to any piece of auto technology. While it is designed to be safe and reduce driver distraction, it does pose the risk of doing the opposite. Drivers can become distracted by the new technology within their cars, making them worse drivers.