The Head-up display (HUD) was originally developed by the military to transmit targeting information to pilots without forcing them to take their eyes away from their flight path. In recent years, the technology has been utilized by mainstream automobile manufacturers to provide drivers with the same access to information such as speed and directions while remaining focused on the road.
With concerns over distracted driving rising, there is an increased interest in HUD enabled cars. The technology utilized is called “augmented reality.” What that means is that the world around the driver (aka “reality”) is augmented by additional information that appears on the windshield in front of them. The HUD can display information from navigation, infrared cameras, and even mobile phone apps! This can be used for a number of functions which we’ll explore more below.
Anyone who has had to look down at a center console or smartphone to decipher their next turn will appreciate the convenience of having precise instructions superimposed on the road itself. A driver who is using Head-Up Display to get directions will see an indication for the turn lane they need to be in overlaid on the lane itself.
Head-Up Displays paired with infrared cameras can give drivers crucial information in low visibility circumstances such as fog. The systems can project, in real-time, the lines of the road and even cars ahead onto the windshield so that drivers are safely aware of what’s around them.
Head-Up Displays can pair with cell phones to allow for hands free texting and dialing. Future functions could include displaying information from applications, such as a restaurant’s Yelp rating, in the driver’s field of vision.
In 2018, many auto manufacturers offer Head-Up Display technology (primarily Audi, BMW, Mercedes and Volvo) reflecting growing demand among consumers. However, these systems can be expensive as they usually are only available on the highest trim levels of the car. Aftermarket Head-Up Displays are available and can be a cheaper option, but they are often quite bulky and can be a distraction.
Currently, HUD-enabled vehicles have a more limited range of functionality to go along with this price-tag. Most systems currently display information about current driving conditions, such as speed, and navigation information. We’ve put together a list of videos showing some available systems below.
Over the past couple of years more and more vehicle manufacturers have implemented this technology into their cars. While many drivers appreciate the increased safety of keeping their eyes on the road (and the futuristic thrill it gives to driving), others worry about the device blocking their view of what’s ahead. At present, it is primarily helpful for those who drive frequently in unfamiliar areas and need to be paying more attention to the road. Ultimately, it’s a promising technology that will help keep more drivers safe as it becomes a less expensive option.
Which vehicles offer Head-Up Displays?
As of the time of writing, Head-Up Displays are offered as a standard or optional feature on these vehicles:
A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Allroad, Q5 and Q7 models
2 Series, 3 Series, 4 Series, 5 Series, 6 Series, 7 Series, X1, X3, X4, X5, X6, i8
ATS, CTS, CT6, Escalade, XTS, and XT5 models
Camaro, Corvette, Suburban, Tahoe
Infiniti has not yet announced when a Head-Up Display will be available.
XE, XF, XJ, F-Pace, E-Pace
Jeep has not yet announced when a Head-Up Display will be available.
Discovery Sport, Velar, Discovery, Evoque, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport
CX5, CX7, Mazda3, Mazda6
E-Class, S- Class, C-Class, GLC
Hardtop 2 Door, Hardtop 4 Door, Clubman, Countryman
Nissan has not yet announced when a Head-Up Display will be available.
Porsche has not yet announced when a Head-Up Display will be available.
Subaru has not yet announced when a Head-Up Display will be available.
S90, V90, XC90, XC60. XC40, S60, V60
Whether or not you’re looking for a HUD-enabled vehicle, Cartelligent can help you get a great deal on exactly what you want. Call our team of car-buying experts at 888.427.4270 or get started today.