BMW head-up display technology

Head-up display is the transparent display system that presents data to the user, removing the need to look away from their usual viewpoints. Initially developed for the aviation industry, with more modern devices mounted within the pilot’s visor, BMW was the first European auto manufacturer to transfer this technology to the motor vehicle in 2004, as a feature of its ConnectedDrive on the BMW 5 Series.

Typically, it takes around one second to glance at a speedometer or satellite navigation device, which means that, scarily, while a driver is distracted to the point where their eyes are not on the road, the car travels around 14 metres when at a speed of 50 km/h (31 mph). The time it takes to assess instrumentation is reduced by more than a half, when a head-up display is utilised.

A light source inside the car’s instrument panel beams data through a Thin Film Transistor Display (TFT). The signal then passes through specifically shaped mirrors before being projected onto the curved windscreen.

[Source: BMW]

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