Jaguar Land Rover developing augmented reality tech for head-up displays

Jaguar Land Rover is developing new 3D head-up display technology that promises not only to improve vehicle safety, but also the enjoyment of passengers during a long journey.

Unlike today’s head-up systems that simply display information on a vehicle’s windshield, JLR’s 3D tech—which is being developed in partnership with the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) at the University of Cambridge—uses augmented reality to make information appear as though it’s being displayed on the road ahead. That kind of augmented reality can not only be useful for things like navigation and highlighting points of interest, but also for alerting drivers to possible dangers.

According to a 2016 study, the kind of 3D technology that JLR is developing can improve a driver’s “reaction times on ‘popping-out’ instructions” and increase “depth judgments while driving,” thereby reducing the risk of crashing. JLR sees such technology as crucial for its Destination Zero business plan to make motoring safer.

“Development in virtual and augmented reality is moving really quickly,” said Valerian Meijering, Human Machine Interface & Head-Up Display Researcher for Jaguar Land Rover. “This consortium takes some of the best technology available and helps us to develop applications suited to the automotive sector. Not only does it provide a much richer experience for customers, but it also forms part of our Destination Zero roadmap; helping us to move towards a safer, more intuitive and smarter future, for everybody.”

JLR’s 3D tech is more than just a safety play. The automaker is also exploring ways to integrate the technology into its vehicles’ infotainment systems, which would allow passengers to watch 3D movies. Moreover, the technology can support multiple users, so each passenger could enjoy their own entertainment from the same source screen.

JLR hasn’t announced when its 3D technology might make its way to a regular production vehicle.

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