How modern technology is transforming the automotive sector

By Jamieson Christmas, founder & CEO at Envisics H

olography sounds like something from the future, but we’ve already seen it being used in real life. However, holography is fast becoming a reality,

and you will soon fi nd it in your cars making your drive safer and more exciting.

Augmented Reality (AR) Head Up Displays (HUDs) are big players on the road to the future

Envisics is developing a new generation of core technologies that will bring holography into your car in the form of augmented reality heads-up display (HUD) – a transparent display that overlays essential driving data upon reality for the driver. The projection technology in AR-HUDs is naturally more sophisticated than currently available HUDs. Custom ultra-high performance algorithms compute the holograms which are subsequently written on to proprietary holographic modulators, when illuminated with lasers the result is an AR display that can then be overlaid on to reality. The use of laser holography instead of LED backlit LCDs means a signifi cant increase in optical effi ciency, a reduction in power consumption and a reduction in HUD packaging volume. All of which helps simplify the integration of the product across different types of vehicles regardless of the manufacturer. The holograms themselves can also be generated on multiple planes at multiple

14 May 2020

distances, with resolution and clarity six times greater than that of the human retina.

How will Holographic HUDs transform driving?

AR-HUDs will positively impact the safety of driving by improving drivers situational awareness, the ability to enhance lane markings on the road, indicating exactly where to drive, highlighting potential hazards earlier than you otherwise would have spotted them. The more aware drivers are of their environment, the better-informed decisions they can make, creating a safer driving experience for them, and those around them.

We have all been in a situation where we have looked away from the road longer than we are comfortable with because we need to better understand the route on the satellite navigation system. With this technology, automakers can overlay the navigation directional arrows directly upon the road itself making navigation entirely intuitive. Future augmented reality experiences will be tailored to the drivers personal preferences to a greater degree than ever before.

The future of the industry There is no doubt that the automotive world is going through challenging times: a global pandemic, an economic decline, a power train revolution, a mobility

Components in Electronics

revolution, new challengers taking on the old guard that are encumbered with legacy designs and design approaches. The advent of electric vehicles, fuel cell and autonomous technologies, has added signifi cant pressure to the already stretched development budgets of the automotive OEMs. Over the past 10 years there has been an increasing amount of co-operation between, what would have historically been considered archrivals, in the sharing of powertrains and chassis as a means to try and control costs. Moreover, the OEMs who historically designed bespoke cars for each market, have moved towards the design of so called “World Cars” that conform to worldwide rather than regional regulations. The result is that car designs are becoming increasingly

homogenised. Technologies like the Envisics Holographic AR-HUD present the OEM’s with the opportunity to extend their brand identity beyond the confi nes of the vehicle and to enhance the in-car experience. In future AR HUDs will not only annotate the world around you, with the OEMs specifi c branding, but it will enable enhancements that have thus far only been dreamed of. For example, true AR Night Vision, the ability to overlay a three dimensional enhanced image upon reality, effectively turning night into day, will drastically improve the safety of night time driving. With this kind of potential it is highly likely that AR-HUDs will increasingly be viewed by the car manufacturers as one of the best ways to differentiate their brand from the competition.

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