Tag: augmented reality windshield

Augmented reality windshields could be distracting to drivers

While AR technology has been developed to help to promote road safety, it could be causing the opposite result.

According to the results of preliminary studies on the use of augmented reality head up displays (HUDs) that show images on windshields that are meant to help to make driving safer and easier for motorists, the use of this technology could actually be making driving less safe.

The problem with AR technology while driving primarily involves distraction due to divided attention.

According to Ian Spence, a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, “Drivers need to divide their attention to deal with this added visual information.” He also pointed out that “Not only will drivers have to concentrate on what’s happening on the road around them as they’ve always done, they’ll also have to attend to whatever warning pops up on the windshield in front of them.”

The professor ran the augmented reality display tests with two of his students to better understand the visual data.

Augmented Reality - WindshieldSpence worked with Sijing Wu and Yuechuan Sun, two of his students, in designing tests that would be able to measure the impact of displaying the additional information as an overlay on the reality seen by a driver. At first, the participants in the research were asked to complete a series of computer based trials. Within those trials, they reported several randomly arranged numbers (which ranged from one through nine) that were displayed on the screen. They needed to identify them as rapidly and accurately as possible once they were prompted to do so.

In some of the trials, they were also presented with a black-outlined square in order to provide a secondary form of stimulus. Those that received that additional stimulus were asked to report whether or not they had seen it. The numbered spots and the shape were displayed at the same time, and the shape appeared in only some trials in an unpredictable pattern among the participants.

When the squares were absent, the accuracy was quite high, which indicated that there wasn’t a lot of attention required in order to identify whether or not the square had appeared. However, when the square appeared along with the numbered spots, the average rate of missing it was one in 15. The higher the number of spots, the greater the average rate of missing the square. This indicated that if the user’s attention is occupied by additional information such as that displayed in augmented reality, it will also be increasingly distracted from the primary task, such as driving.

Augmented reality head-up displays provide futuristic driver guidance

Pioneer is taking steps to provide a high quality HUD navigation experience for motorists.

Until now, a high quality head-up display experience has been more of a concept, than what is actually provided, but Pioneer is seeking to combine new technologies, such as augmented reality, to bring this experience to life.

The company is using its NavGate HUD to provide drivers with real time, helpful guidance.

The Pioneer NavGate HUD brings together the connectivity of a smartphone with augmented reality in order to provide a driver with a virtual 30 inch display of helpful data that appears to be floating just a few feet in front of the hood of the vehicle.

The use of augmented reality helps to overcome the need to display the data on the windshield.

Previous head-up display experiences have failed to achieve their full potential because they use graphics that appear to be from three decades ago, and are displayed on a transparent sticker or onto the windshield itself. The surface – whether it be the windshield or a sticker – needs to be specially treated in order to reflect the blocky pixels for the display. However In this case, Pioneer has dumped that concept altogether in favor of a Digital Light Processing system that is mounted on the visor. It then projects data, through augmented reality, onto a clear plastic sheet within the field of view of the driver.

This use of augmented reality has been compared to the type of display that a fighter jet pilot would see, only this is usable to the driver of a regular family sized vehicle. The display can provide the driver with a number of different information options, such as turn-by-turn navigation, which incorporates data from lane placement to the vehicle’s current speed, the actual speed limit of the road, the current time, speed and red light cameras along the way, and an estimated time of arrival (and estimated distance) for reaching the intended destination.

Sensors in the device are able to detect the ambient light so that the augmented reality display brightness will be appropriate regardless of whether it is daytime or nighttime. A dedicated app is responsible for controlling these types of features.

As of yet, Pioneer has not named the specific smartphones that are supported by NavGate to provide the augmented reality display experience. However, what is known is that it is connected to the device through a very long USB cable. The device will launch next month with iGo Primo and CoPilot navigation support.