Virtual display for cars could reduce accidents

October 4, 2004

Many accidents, especially at night, are caused by motorists having to take their eye off the road as they look down to see the car instruments. Head-up displays would be a solution, were they not so expensive and bulky. OEDIBUS has an innovative solution.

Driving at night is dangerous. Research shows that, although less than one third of all driving is done at night, over 50 per cent of the fatalities occur during this period. For pedestrians, 60 per cent of fatalities occur during the hours of darkness. Part of the reason is that drivers have to change the focus of their eyes and the direction of their gaze every time they look down at the instrument panel.

A head-up display (HUD) can improve the situation, by projecting a virtual image of the instruments along a direction closer to the driver’s gaze when looking ahead and at a focal point far away from the driver.

"Conventional HUDs project the image onto the car windscreen," says Piermario Repetto of Centro Richerce Fiat and OEDIBUS coordinator. "The problem with conventional displays is that they are expensive and occupy an unacceptably large volume, typically in a range from 3 to 5 litres, which is impractical for most car instrument clusters."

Part of the problem with the volume is that the windscreen projection system needs an optical chain, the size of which is difficult to reduce. "The OEDIBUS display chain is very small, and the whole system occupies less than 0.5 litres," adds Repetto. "We use holographic technology to couple the light into and out of the HUD combiner. Light propagates through the material of the combiner and a set of holographic diffraction gratings is used to relay the image from a state-of-the-art microdisplay to the driver’s eye."

"This HUD concept is a real breakthrough," Repetto says. "It's a completely new way of making HUDs. It's very comfortable for drivers, too; there are only limited restrictions on their viewing position. And because it produces a virtual image, drivers don't have to change their focus when they look at the display panel mounted on top of the instrument cluster."

The HUD will be exhibited at the forthcoming IST 2004 conference, and plans are in place for putting the system into production. "Expect to have HUDs installed in cars from 2008 onwards," says Repetto.

Source: IST Results
PLEASE MENTION IST RESULTS SERVICE AS THE SOURCE OF THIS STORY AND, IF PUBLISHING ONLINE, PLEASE CARRY A HYPERLINK TO: http ://istresults.cordis.lu/

Explore further: Google patent application is about head display with holograms

Related Stories

DARPA sets sights on high-tech contact lenses

April 15, 2012

(Phys.org) -- A Bellevue, Washington, company specializing in display technology based on eyewear and contact lenses has sealed a deal with DARPA. Innovega, which says its technology can open a “new dimension to virtual ...

Head-up display wins top navigation prize in Munich

October 27, 2011

(PhysOrg.com) -- A navigation system making use of something called "True3D" technology has won the top prize in this year's European Satellite Navigation Competition in Munich, Germany. The ESNC is an international innovation ...

Recommended for you

Complete design of a silicon quantum computer chip unveiled

December 15, 2017

Research teams all over the world are exploring different ways to design a working computing chip that can integrate quantum interactions. Now, UNSW engineers believe they have cracked the problem, reimagining the silicon ...

A not-quite-random walk demystifies the algorithm

December 15, 2017

The algorithm is having a cultural moment. Originally a math and computer science term, algorithms are now used to account for everything from military drone strikes and financial market forecasts to Google search results.

Single-photon detector can count to four

December 15, 2017

Engineers have shown that a widely used method of detecting single photons can also count the presence of at least four photons at a time. The researchers say this discovery will unlock new capabilities in physics labs working ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.