A holographic sat nav that projects directions on to drivers’ windscreens

Tech company Envisics has used augmented reality and holograms to create a new way of showing drivers which way to go, with directions displayed on the roads in front of them.

A holographic navigation system has been created for cars, which displays directions in real time on a car’s windscreen.

The technology created by Envisics, known as the “dynamic holographic platform”, uses augmented reality (AR) projections to provide information.

By layering holographic images on to the real world, which the driver sees through the windscreen, the tech can show the user when they need to turn or which lane to get into, as well as highlight landmarks of interest. It also displays a digital speedometer on the windscreen.

Its makers claim the product is safer than systems conventionally used in cars, as there are less distractions that make the driver take their eyes off the road, for example looking down at a speedometer or at a sat nav on the dashboard.

Envisics CEO Dr Jamieson Christmas told the BBC: “There’s actually a proven safety case that if you can keep the driver’s awareness on the road where it needs to be then there’s a big reduction in accidents.”

The tech is also able to project holographic images across different planes; close-up as with the speedometer, and further into the distance, for example by highlighting a lane the car needs to get into in a different colour.

It adapts to night and day, as well as different environmental conditions such as rain.

Efficiency

Envisics also says its automotive head up display (HUD) system is more energy efficient than some others as it uses algorithms to redistribute light more efficiently, wasting less power and creating “sharper” images.

With no backlight, the company claims its HUD consumes 50% less power than conventional systems, which it says is particularly important for electric vehicles.

The company says the system, which was showcased at Las Vegas tech show CES 2019 earlier this month, can be easily adapted to a wide range of vehicles of different shapes and sizes.

Video: © BBC

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