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Future Windshield AR Display Technology Could Transform Volvo User Experiences

Automobile manufacturer Volvo could be on its way to releasing HUD technology that offers enhanced experiences to drivers. Volvo, one of the most prominent automobile manufacturing companies today, is currently putting in the effort to provide highly advanced driver-assistance sensor suite technology. Driver safety is one of the biggest concerns and an important area of focus for vehicle manufacturers. Volvo has also shown its commitment to this purpose, as evident by its latest investment in technology company Spectralics.

The collaboration has given the carmaker the opportunity to eventually make the windshield a dynamic display for drivers, to ensure that they keep their eyes on the road. The technology provided by Spectralics utilises a slim layer of film known as the multi-layered thin combiner, overlaid over a vehicle’s windshield. The windshield is turned into a transparent type display that Volvo can use to layer graphical and visual elements on windshields. Due to this technology, users feel like the windshield and the areas around it are integrated into an augmented reality (AR) display.

Henrik Green, Chief Product Officer, Volvo, spoke about the development of the technology with Spectralics. According to Green, Volvo is extending its support to the technology company as it is optimistic about the technology finding its way to vehicles. At present, Volvo offers a HUD display capable of superimposing information on windshields in several of its car models. The setup contains a projector and multiple mirrors that let Volvo relay vital information within the field of view of drivers. It reduces the need for them to look away from the field of view to focus on screens and gauges. The new technology adds a layer of safety to the driving experience.

The concept of a HUD is not new and has been around for many decades. In recent times, it has become more integrated into vehicles. Present HUDs are quite capable of showing a great amount of information regarding directions, vehicle stats, and more. Despite HUDs being widely known and used in some vehicles, there have been notable limitations. Size has been an area of concern as displays have been mostly on the smaller side. Small HUDs, coupled with challenges with placements and parallax factors, have so far limited the wider scale use of HUDs.

The HUD technology being developed by Spectralics is able to easily display information on any part of a HUD. It takes advantage of many technologies such as cameras for the detection of roads, signs, obstacles, and other real-world objects. All of the information and details are available to drivers right before their eyes. Volvo has dabbled in HUD technology in the past but has not rolled out any products. The investment in Spectra is a step towards implementing augmented reality technology in future Volvo cars, but there is no such guarantee. If it does go ahead, there is a chance of drivers enjoying better vehicle safety. It can be a revolutionary development in the field of AR-based HUD solutions for cars.

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