Head-up display integrates Augmented Reality

July 14, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Speed, some simple navigation data, and, in newer implementations, speed limits - these are the data typically depicted in a head-up display (HUD). Supplier continental now goes one step further: The company announced a HUD that integrates Augmented Reality (AR) data - based on data extracted through sensor data fusion.

Continental's next-generation HUD integrates and depicts significantly more data from more different sources than current models. For example, the HUD interfaces to the Adaptive Cruise Control unit and visually highlights the vehicle tracked in the HUD; in addition, it displays a marker for the distance to the vehicle ahead. This helps users to quickly orientate themselves in an increasingly complex traffic environment, the company said. "Augmentation blends our visual image and explanatory graphical information", said Helmut Matschi, General Manager of Continental's Interior Division. He arguments that the AR HUD is an important step towards holistic interaction concepts and as such an enabler for a more comfortable and safe way of driving.

Fig. 1 Augmented Reality in the head-up display:  The green marking under the preceeding vehicle shows that the Adaptive Cruise Control is actively tracking this vehicle. The blue markings indicate the correct distance.

The AR HUD blends the usual HUD data such as speed, current speed limits and navigation symbols with AR data generated by the Adaptive Cruise Control driver assistance system, which in turn depends on one or more radar sensors. In addition, its taps data from forward-looking cameras like those used in lane departure warning systems as well as driving dynamics data from the driving dynamics control system and other vehicle sensor data. In a unit called AR Creator, these sensor data are blended with a digital map and GPS data and combined to a virtual view of the real outside world seen from the driver's perspective. This enables the system to place its AR hints exactly to the right spot on the windscreen.

The AR HUD feeds the data to a digital micro mirror device which projects them to the windscreen. Here it appears as a virtual image - seemingly in a distance of 7.5 metres ahead of the car and covers a section of 130 cm width and 60 cm height.

The technique is currently