An augmented reality windshield from GM

An augmented reality windshield from GM

Summary: The human/machine interface department at GM has developed a working heads-up display that turns an ordinary windshield into an augmented reality information dashboard.

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TOPICS: Tech Industry
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Over the past ten years, General Motors has poured over $11 million into a research partnership with Carnegie Mellon University, and there are signs that the relationship is bearing fruit.

The human/machine interface department at GM has developed a working heads-up display that turns an ordinary windshield into an augmented reality information dashboard.

The "enhanced vision system" can help drivers by highlighting landmarks, obstacles and road signs on the windshield in real-time to improve safety and navigation-- it even brings GPS functions right into the dashboard by outlining the exact building you're going to.

According to Technology Review, to turn the entire windshield into a display, GM used a special type of glass coated with red-emitting and blue-emitting phosphors--a clear synthetic material that glows when it is excited by ultraviolet light. The phosphor display is then activated by tiny, ultraviolet lasers bouncing off mirrors bundled near the windshield.  Three cameras mounted on the dashboard track the driver's head and eyes to determine where she is looking.

To sense what is in front of the car, the system uses a variety of sensors, including night vision, navigation systems, and cameras to gather relevant data. Then, ultraviolet lasers project corresponding images onto the windshield surface.

GM says the new HUD windshield, which so far has only been tested in simulations, wouldn't be incorporated into cars until around 2018. By then, other sensor technologies in the car will likely be adapted into the system and could help reduce costs.

The AR windshield was developed with partners from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Southern California. View the video below to see it in action:

Topic: Tech Industry

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15 comments
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  • Is that like the Apple Reality Distortion Field

    that the apple employees have installed in their cars windshields? Where it shows EVERYBODY with iPhones ipods and apple computers, and the churches all have the likeness of Steve Jobs carved in the stonework?
    Ron Bergundy
    • RE: An augmented reality windshield from GM

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      meimeili
  • I want an old car, no computers need apply.

    Stick a BBC in it, a 4 speed manual and a posi-track rear end and call it good enough.
    No_Ax_to_Grind
    • So now we need computers & HUDs to tell us what's in front of the car?

      How about just LOOKING OUT THE FRIGGEN WINDSHIELD?

      And when this puppy goes south, does the windshield go black?

      I'm with you No_Ax on this one.
      IT_Guy_z
      • Talk about missing the point ...

        The HUD shows you things that aren't obvious from looking out the
        window. It's friggin' cool!

        I'm always astonished at the so-called "tech" people who seem to hate
        technology. No IT guy worth his salt would ever say, "what do I need that
        for?" to a sweet piece of gear like this.
        RationalGuy
  • RE: An augmented reality windshield from GM

    In NORMAL driving conditions - daylight, clear weather, sunshine - this would be a waste of time, money, and electrical power from the alternator or battery, PERIOD.
    BUT - in snow, or fog, at night, THEN, it just might save a life - and that life could be MINE - or my sife's - or your KIDS when I can't see him or her crossing the street, against the light, with NO retroreflective material on all that black denim and that hoodie sweatshirt pulled over her head because she just LOVES Robert Pattinson this week!
    Coupled with a decent IR/UHF Sonar system, this WILL save lives - especially if Mercedes gets up off that active braking system they've got out on some models and GM (and others) install it on their cars.
    That - and this windshield system - need to not trickle down, but flood down to everything on the road, from 18-wheelers and Bentleys/Caddys/Rolls-Royces, to Nissans/KIAs/Ford Focuses (Foci?) and anything else with wheels and a windshield or brakes.
    It's PAST TIME for safety innovations to be limited to rich people; everyone has value. Even us poor slobs.
    jkratzer3
    • Amen! Must B Nice...

      So well said! Would have been nice to "trade up" in the recent "cash 4 clunkers" or some of the other "incentives" out there for people who can afford it? Hate to say, but it [i]ain't me[/i]!
      ncironman
    • The safety feature aspect is cool ...

      ... but the GPS/LBS features seem even more usable/wantable. This also
      seems like a positive step towards automobile auto-pilot (or computer
      assisted driving).
      RationalGuy
  • RE: An augmented reality windshield from GM

    WARNING: Virtual Reality Objects in the Windshield May Appear Different from what They Are!
    Agnostic_OS
  • RE: An augmented reality windshield from GM

    I can't wait to see this: http://bit.ly/bUfcj9
    Morely
  • RE: An augmented reality windshield from GM

    Maybe after they get this thing working, these guys can come
    up with some kind of thing for blind people. Maybe a cap
    with whatever makes this stuff work that would warn a blind
    person of dangers, or where to turn, or when to duck, or..
    well you get the idea.
    Serton
  • RE: An augmented reality windshield from GM

    As I get older and some portions of my vision change for the worse (night vision, ability to see 3d , etc.), I totally endorse any non-glasses approach to improving my ability to perceive my surrounding in a car.
    mike_buckley1
  • RE: An augmented reality windshield from GM

    It's about time this technology was widely put into production. As long as the windshield doesn't get "cluttered, I'm all for it.
    Used Cars Louisville Guy99
  • RE: An augmented reality windshield from GM

    When is this thought to be a standard for production?
    Used Cars Louisville Guy99
  • Hi to all

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    JessicaJean