In a few years the automotive world has gone from offering airbags and air conditioning systems as optional elements to have sophisticated driving assistance systems (ADAS), with information and navigation instructions that are projected on the windshield to avoid distractions. It is augmented reality and 3D technology that in this case is applied to windshields, an element that may seem invaluable to the naked eye, but which has also undergone a significant evolution in a few years, since the veteran tempered glass it has switched to the latest generation technology.
As the cars are made increasingly autonomous And as drivers free themselves from the need to focus on the road – initially only on freeways, later on any stage – smart windshields will become entertainment and communication zones. The car will become an ecosystem of attention, where the windshield will be the big screen and its command and entertainment center.
Windshields with augmented reality have already hit the market. And they have done it in two cars with very different segments. The new Volkswagen ID.3 offers, as an optional element, a large Head Up Display that includes augmented reality. This system can show relevant graphic informationlike arrows to indicate the turn, which overlaps the real-world image the driver sees through the windshield.
Much more sophisticated is the Mercedes-Benz flagship system, the new S-Class. Developed by Texas Instruments, this system it has 1.3 megapixel resolution and projects images that appear as if they are a few meters ahead of the car. This system has been specifically designed for the curvature and inclination of the windscreen of the S-Class, so that the screen will appear straight, even if it is projected on an irregular surface. According to the brand, it will be as if we were watching a 77-inch television 10 meters away.
In addition to actively marking the navigation system prompts, How does the Volkswagen system, offers more functionalities related to ADAS systems. For example, it will show the safety distance with the car in front of us, showing a bright green line that will turn yellow or red if drivers get too close. It will also “paint red” the road edges or lane lines if we get too close to them.
A few years ago, the study ‘The commingled division of visual attention’ de la Universidad de Toronto warned about the use of head up displays, ensuring that they can cause distractions. According to these researchers, the information received through this screen results in a loss of concentration for the driver, who has to use part of his attention to process the data before his eyes.
But many other studies support the use of this technology, since it shows the information that the driver needs in his line of sight and can receive security alerts more quickly. The key to the security of these systems is that they are effective, being as less invasive as possible; and that shows relevant and well-categorized information. For Guido Meier-Arendt, of Continental“It is like salt in soup: it is essential, but you must be careful with the amount you use.”
It is a proven fact that it is better not to look away from the road to consult information, for example, about the route of the browser. Why when the driver looks away It takes at least half a second to read a screen, and at 120 km / h each second “blind” means 33 meters traveled.
On the other hand, the use of augmented reality head up displays will make it easier for drivers to accept automated driving, as they will feel more secure knowing what the car really sees and knows.
Carglass introduced to the Spanish market the windshield repair system with exclusive technology developed by Belron Technical (Group’s own R&D department). The company’s constant commitment to technological innovation has made it the only specialist capable of recalibrating 98.5% of vehicles with Advanced Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) after replacing a windshield.