Active Window Displays
Modern drivers have to deal with a number of competing demands on their attention: the information on the dashboard, the route on the sat nav, a Bluetooth-linked smartphone and, most importantly, the road ahead. But technology could offer a way to combine all these into one handy screen - the windscreen.
Active window displays, also called head-up displays (HUDs), already show things like driving speed, navigation guidance and warnings but are likely to expand to include ‘augmented reality’ where information could be overlaid on the view of the road ahead. This could include route advice, guidance lines for cornering, video calls and possibly even games or movies to watch in autonomous vehicles.
HUDs are nothing new - they’ve been a feature of high-end cars since the 1980s. But advances in display technology, combined with the sensors of tomorrow’s cars, could open up whole new dimensions in the way we drive.
A screen like this could go beyond simply replacing the dashboard. It could also warn of approaching vehicles and pedestrians, or display a virtual minimap of the area around the car – showing shops, tourist attractions or other points of interest.
Delivering all this on-screen information in a way that doesn’t overwhelm and distract motorists could be a challenge - but done correctly, this technology could effectively give drivers a ‘sixth sense’ that helps them avoid accidents.