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Head-Up Displays

Basic Description

Head-up displays project information important to the driver on the windshield, making it easily visible without requiring the driver to look away from the road ahead. There are many different kinds of head-up displays, the most common displays employ an image generator that is placed on the dashboard and a specially coated windshield to reflect the images. Information commonly projected in a head-up display includes vehicle speed, notifications of incoming cell calls, obstacle detection, night vision information, navigation information and/or warnings generated by various automotive systems (e.g. low fuel). Most systems allow the driver to customize the information that is projected.

Permanent Magnet

Typically a HUD system contains three primary components: a combiner, which is the surface onto which the image is projected (generally coated windshield glass); a projector unit, which is typically an LED or LCD display; and a control module that produces the image and determines how it should be projected. The first head-up displays used CRT displays to project images on the windshield. These have been replaced by systems that use LED or LCD displays. Ambient light sensors detect the amount of light coming in the windshield from outside the car and adjust the projection intensity accordingly.

Some of the car manufacturers that provide head-up display systems as options in some of their vehicles include BMW, General Motors, Honda, Toyota, Lexus, Citroën and Nissan. Add-on head-up display systems are also available from a variety of sources.

Ambient light sensor
Image projector
Data Communications
Control Unit Communication: Typically Control Area Network (CAN) Bus System
Bosch, Continental, Denso, Garmin, Microvision, Nippon Seiki, Pioneer, Superimaging, Yazaki
For More Information
[1] Head-Up Display, Wikipedia.
[2] Corvette C5 Heads Up Display HUD -- GM Promotional Video, YouTube, Nov. 11, 2008.
[3] Peugeot 3008, Head Up Display, YouTube, July 25, 2009.
[4] New GM Head Up Display uses Lasers to Augment Entire Windshield, YouTube, Mar. 18, 2010.
[5] HUD (Heads Up Display) App. "Awesome HUD" for iPhone 4S, YouTube, Dec. 14, 2011.
[6] 2012 Prius: Head-Up Display, YouTube, Apr. 26, 2012.
[7] How to use Heads Up Display on a BMW, YouTube, Feb. 27, 2013.
[8] Global Automotive Head-up Display Market 2012-2016, CNBC, Oct. 7, 2013.