Head-up display wins top navigation prize in Munich

October 27, 2011 by Nancy Owano, Phys.org report

(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 contest that awards the best ideas for applications in satellite navigation. There were 401 proposals from almost 50 countries. The winner was selected by an international panel of experts. The company that designed the system, Making Virtual Solid (MVS-California), entered its True3D Head Up Display & Navigation System, which won the Galileo Master 2011 grand prize of 20,000 Euros.

The HUD system is described as an augmented reality navigational engine designed to provide non-distracting, translucent location guidance. Images are projected directly onto the car’s windshield.

“Non-distracting” and “translucent” are the strong attributes, as the company touts its system’s use of 3-D technology to beam the display across the entire front window of the car. With a less robust readout, that would be no better than a road map over glass, but “True3D” creates a readout that blends into what the driver sees on the road in front of the vehicle.

A luminous, three-dimensional landscape over the real world delivers information that the driver needs without the driver having to look elsewhere than on the road, and it is less distracting too than a small rectangle nearby the windscreen wipers.

The display carries virtual road signs to warn of conditions ahead. Attractions such as service stations and hotels are identified by virtual signs floating above them.

The images appear to be outside the windshield from a distance of two meters to infinity. They are described as volumetric (“truly 3-D”) and they are capable of refreshing at a rate of 60 frames per second.

The designers had pilot-level situational awareness in mind when working on the display design A no-need-to-think-about-it, realtime stream of information was the goal, yet it had to be cost-engineered for the car market, where drivers could see moving, not fixed, images, constantly refreshing. The system would have to be small, light and inexpensive enough to make its way into all cars.

“The world's foremost automotive display researchers had essentially given up trying to push the size and cost of 3-D conformal HUDs down far enough to enter the automotive supply chain. We did not,” says a company spokesman.

According to Making Virtual Solid, the technology requires a small hardware package, and can operate in bright sunlight,

According to Inside GNSS, MVS-California has designs and manufacturing plans and is seeking ecosystem partners to build on its system’s potential use in automotive, trucking, marine, and avionics markets.

Explore further: Augmented reality windshield from GM to show drivers potential hazards (w/ Video)

More information: galileo-masters.eu/index.php?k … anzeige=press47.html

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5 / 5 (4) Oct 27, 2011
One day, they will have laws against pop-up ads in the road.
5 / 5 (8) Oct 27, 2011
"pfft.. who navs the grid without adblock these days?"
1 / 5 (1) Oct 27, 2011
Did they have to make such long videos? Wasn't a few nanoseconds enough?
3.7 / 5 (3) Oct 27, 2011
Sh*t videos and yes, road side advertising should be banned. Anything that's designed to take your eyes off the road that isn't a safety warning should be illegal.
Of course, when we have cars that drive themselves, adversing can be everywhere.
not rated yet Oct 27, 2011
Simply nice

[Bring on those StarTrek style HUD display]
5 / 5 (3) Oct 27, 2011
Re: Ads in your face - there won't be anything in your field of view that you, personally, haven't expressly ok'd. We won't license the technology to Troglodytes who shove garbage at you without asking you, first, what your preferences are.

Re: Long videos, somewhat boring. Yes, noted - we need more, newer, more entertaining videos. But for technical HMI and automotive types, the long video is helpful.

Re: Star Wars. Well, yes and no. We all totally love all things aeronautic and avionic, so yes. No only because we're designing tools for ordinary, untrained drivers who'll need to be able to feel comfy with the system within one minute of playing with it. (Not going to sell many units if we demand flight school first).

That said, we're also discussing a partnership with the European Space Agency to develop runway taxi navigation systems. This is super exciting. Short of having Sam Shepherd in a cockpit next to me, Philip Kaufman directing, I can't imagine a "sexier" project.
5 / 5 (2) Oct 27, 2011
I would like my guiding line to look more like the one from Donnie Darko.
not rated yet Oct 27, 2011
Wow, that is cool! Kinda like the magic window technology Toyota is developing.
not rated yet Oct 31, 2011
I can't wait until someone hacks the system and adds virtual mariokart racers and scenery
not rated yet Nov 01, 2011
Hi Physorg folks: I'm really glad you guys have covered us so fully and enthusiastically. We're really grateful. But I have to solve one mystery... Where did you acquire video with a voice track on it? That's not ours, as far as I know. Where did you get it? Thanks! - Juliana / MVSC
4.5 / 5 (2) Nov 02, 2011
Juliana, could you speak to how the HUDs map is populated? i.e., does it pull from Google Maps, your own proprietary source, etc.?

Also, would it be possible for the system to glitch and turn the whole windshield black?

Unfortunately from my computer I can't watch the video but it looks like a fantastic product. Are there any thoughts to leaving the code open source so people could turn their cars into person theaters on-the-go?
5 / 5 (1) Nov 14, 2011
@NotAsleep Apologies for taking so long to reply. Been just a wee bit busy. Your windshield would never go "black" because the system never obscures the real world. If the system is down, you don't see a guide wire (or your hotel destination). The HUD can draw from any back end - so populating it from Google Maps is a strong option, but so is pulling from a proprietary database driven by Navteq, or any other qualified map source. The idea of an open source code where people can build theaters on the go is kinda scary. But I'm pretty sure you were joking. We love open source stuff where appropriate but we're pretty sure this isn't a good spot for encouraging DIY hacking. That said, we view drivers as the ultimate judges of what works best for them individually. So choosing from many options (granted, options we'll have tested as safe and non-distracting) should be your right. But I'm gonna say no to letting you hack a stream for NetFlix while doing 95 mpg on the Interstate ;)

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