Auto Tech

Jaguar Land Rover's 3D head-up display wants to make road information crystal clear

This tech could eventually extend to in-car entertainment, too.

This kind of tech could all but eliminate issues with turn-by-turn directions. Just keep it in the lines.
Jaguar Land Rover

Augmented reality and three-dimensional displays are still very much in their early stages, at least when it comes to cars. While we haven't seen many of these technologies applied to production cars yet, that doesn't mean automakers aren't hard at work on them. Case in point, Jaguar Land Rover's 3D displays.

Jaguar Land Rover announced on Tuesday that it is developing three-dimensional head-up displays as part of its research in future technologies. It has possibilities for making in-car entertainment more exciting, too, but safety appears to be the top priority.

While the automaker didn't delve too deeply into the underlying tech, it claims this kind of display can better project safety alerts and other notifications, giving the driver a better chance at identifying important information. Augmented-reality tech could create depth by putting the messages "on" the road through the windshield -- it's sort of like what Mercedes-Benz does with its new MBUX infotainment system's turn-by-turn directions, except on the windshield.

In addition to helping drivers better figure out which pieces of information are more useful, a 3D HUD could make navigation even easier. Do you really know how far ahead a turn is when the system tells you it's a quarter mile away? It would certainly be easier to follow a line on the windshield that wraps around the correct corner a few blocks up.

JLR also has ideas for the technology beyond the driver. The company is also working to develop stereoscopic 3D displays for passenger use, specifically in autonomous vehicles. A person traveling to work might be able to watch a 3D movie using a display that tracks a person's head and eyes, delivering a three-dimensional experience without the need for special glasses.

The British automaker isn't the first to dive into this tech. In addition to the augmented-reality navigation in new Mercedes vehicles equipped with MBUX, Bosch announced last week that it, too, wants to bring 3D displays into the car. Citing the same information-based benefits as JLR, the supplier imagines the tech being used to improve everything from road-hazard warnings to backup camera displays.

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