A head-up display, also referred to as a head-up display, or HUD for short, is a transparent screen that displays information directly in the line of sight of the driver. It can trace its roots back to the world of military aviation.
They have been used in fighter planes for approximately 25 years to provide the pilot with the most pertinent information.
Automobiles have been equipped with this cutting-edge technology ever since the late 1980s. This capability is showcased in the James Bond film “007: High Tension” by the illustrious Aston Martin which belonged to our covert agent.
Additionally helpful for motorists
When piloting a fighter jet, paying attention to every hundredth of a second is essential. When traveling at speeds of thousands of miles per hour, it is possible to put yourself in danger by looking away.
This is not as significant in a car; however, providing the driver with an indication of the most critical parameters of the vehicle in a location on the dashboard that they can view without having to take their eyes off the road significantly improves both safety and comfort.
Even though this cutting-edge and sporty device was initially designed for younger and more energetic drivers, it can still benefit more experienced drivers who require progressive lenses to see clearly.
Having said that, “keep your head up” means “with your head held high.” As a result, the driver does not need to take his eyes off the road to maintain awareness of the most critical driving parameters.
However, there is a vast disparity between the various devices and approaches to the problem.
The mobile app is inexpensive but has a restricted application
Even though a head-up display can be created using a mobile phone, this option is not currently available. It is not sufficient to download the app that corresponds to the feature.
After all, the fact that the screen can be seen through is one of the primary selling points of this product.
Therefore, keeping the mobile phone open is not the most appropriate solution. For this reason, the industry provides smartphone holders that can be positioned in a horizontal orientation and a reflective film that is only partially see-through for the front display screen.
On the other hand, the display does not have sufficient brightness, at least when driving during the daytime, for it to be of any actual use.
Additionally, the quality of the mounts is rarely very high. In most cases, a head-up display (HUD) fails to deliver the desired results when it has a front display screen that is constantly shaking and does not adhere very well.
The good news is that using devices already exists, and the price difference between them and these useless smartphone mounts is only a little bit more than twenty dollars.
Surprisingly few display screens are located in the front of the vehicle
It is possible to purchase a semi-professional HUD device for as little as approximately 30$. There is one thing that all of these different retrofit solutions have in common, and that is the fact that they all feature a fixed display.
This comes as a bit of a surprise given that we now live in an age where movies in high definition can be watched on mobile devices.
The display screens have a feel that’s a little reminiscent of the 1980s when shows like “The Fantastic Car” were popular.
On the other hand, this kind of device is ideally suited for the function for which it was developed because it sends clear, unambiguous, and easy-to-read signals.
The variety of ways in which content can be presented is quite wide. The most basic heads-up displays (HUD) only show the vehicle’s speed.
They do this, however, using numbers that are either large or very easy to read, depending on the type.
Those users who are content with the amount of information presented will be pleased with these devices.
However, the ability to highlight speed warnings is now a standard feature on various heads-up displays (HUDs).
The correct maximum speed is relayed to the driver if they drive faster than what is allowed at a particular time.
However, the scope of the information that may be obtained is even more expansive: An odometer, a display of consumption, and even some rudimentary form of navigation are all features that can be found on high-quality HUD devices.
How does the HUD get its hands on the information?
There are three channels through which data can enter the HUD device.
- This is typically the GPS in the most basic form of the Head-Up Display (HUD). This technology has already reached startling precision in the modern day.
2. A cable connection to the OBD is the second method that could be utilized. Even though this plug is designed to read the error memory, do-it-yourself, this service connection can be converted into a versatile data source by do-it-yourselfers, inventors, and engineers. In this regard, onboard diagnostic (OBD) signals are ideal for head-up displays. The fact that the device can maintain a constant power supply is one of the benefits of the cable connection.
3. Conversely, some people find it annoying to have cables around the car. Because of this, there are also front display screens equipped with Bluetooth reception. A transmitter plug that is paired to the OBD is all that is required to complete the transaction.
The installation of the screen located in the front
Herein lies the fundamental crux of the entire “art” of retrofitting a vehicle with a head-up display (HUD). The majority of the time, manufacturers will sell complete sets.
These include a reflective sheet that is only partially transparent, a bracket, the head-up display (HUD) device itself, and a connection to the onboard diagnostics port (OBD).
Most manufacturers always include at least one power supply in some capacity, typically through a 12-volt socket.
The upcoming generation is quickly approaching
The next generation of head-up displays (HUD) is already available on the market in the United States, and it will almost certainly render the currently available solutions obsolete.
For instance, NAVDYis a head-up display (HUD) that offers all smartphone capabilities. This system includes the front display screen with LEDs, motion control, and control via a panel on the steering wheel as standard features.
If it is connected via Bluetooth to the user’s mobile phone, it even enables hands-free phone calls and comes equipped with a navigation system.
The next generation’s other heads-up display (HUD) devices are comparable. The only drawback of these highly innovative devices is the price tag that comes along with them.
If the price of a straightforward fixed front display ranges between approximately 30 and 50 dollars, then… HUD 2.0 may be ten times more expensive.
Despite this, the price of these units is significantly lower than that of teams in the factory. Even though they are a perfect fit for the automobile and do not leave any dangling wires behind, their high cost raises the question of whether or not they are truly worthwhile.
Therefore, it is likely that onboard heads-up displays will meet the same demise as their predecessors, the navigation systems. Everything that only performs a single function will be rendered obsolete by the subsequent generation.