GM develops new head up display technology

The innovative technology builds on the head-up technology currently featured in Chevrolet and Vauxhall models by turning the entire windscreen into a transparent display area.

Developed by the GM Research and Design team in the US, the technology beams lasers onto the windscreen to highlight obstacles and road markings in bad weather conditions when visibility is low.

Infrared cameras and sensors in the car are capable of identifying the edge of the road, road signs and potential dangers such as animals or motorcyclists.

Combined with night vision technology, the HUD system then ‘beams’ messages and warnings onto the windscreen.

The windscreen is able to display the messages due to a ‘transparent phosphors’ coating which reacts to lasers aimed at the windscreen to create a visual display in the driver’s line of vision.

The technology is currently being tested, although GM warns it is a few years from being introduced into production cars.

However, applications for the technology have been discussed, including combining the HUD system with the current automated sign technology from the Vauxhall Insignia to read speed limit signs and warn drivers who are driving too fast.

The design team at GM claims the system is better than current night-vision head-down displays because the potential hazards are not displayed on a separate screen; instead they are simply highlighted in the ‘real world’.

The HUD display, similar to technology employed in aircraft, could see the end of accidents in fog, snow and sleet because of poor visibility on the roads.