Jaguar Land Rover concept uses entire windscreen as Head-up display

July 14, 2014 // By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Currently, head-up displays seem to be the must-have technology for carmakers and tier ones. We barely had put online the news piece about Continental introducing Augmented Reality when we learned that Jaguar Land Rover is working on something much bigger: The British company unveiled a concept that utilises the entire windscreen as a giant head-up display. With much more information on it than anything hitherto shown.

As recently as past April, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) made headlines with a system that made use of virtual reality technology in sensing the near surroundings in front of the car and displaying a virtual image of them on the windscreen. Now goes one step further, revealing a windscreen concept that projects much more data onto the windscreen: Speed, navigation data, brake guidance, potential hazards and the racing line appear on the screen. The concept effectively extends the head-display from a small area on the windscreen to the entire area of this screen. The company is also developing solutions that replace the rear-view mirror and external mirrors with cameras and virtual displays.

In addition, the company has developed what it calls a 3D instrument cluster - actually a virtual image of the vehicle's instrument. Using head- and eye-tracking techniques to create a natural-looking 3D image on the instrument panel. Cameras placed in the instrument binnacle or steering column area track the position of the user's head and eyes, and a computer adjusts the image projection accordingly, generating a 3D effect by feeding each eye two slightly different angles of the respective image. This creates the perception of depth which allows the driver to judge distance.

The company's HMI concept goes even further. JLR said it is developing a gesture control system to keep the driver's eyes on the road and reduce distraction by limiting the need to at or feel for buttons and switches to activate. The system uses E-Field Sensing which is based on capacitive discharge touch screens and is said to provide very high accuracy. Basically this is the same principle as in Smartphones - with the difference that the tracking range of the sensing field has been extended to some 15 cm (over 5 mm in a smartphone).

While JLR assures that all these developments are conducted with traffic safety in mind and minimising driver's distraction as