Pioneer's prototype HUD mixes lasers, Android

Pioneer's prototype head-up display uses lasers to project full-color images onto transparent surfaces.

Antuan Goodwin Reviews Editor / Cars
Antuan Goodwin gained his automotive knowledge the old fashioned way, by turning wrenches in a driveway and picking up speeding tickets. From drivetrain tech and electrification to car audio installs and cabin tech, if it's on wheels, Antuan is knowledgeable.
Expertise Reviewing cars and car technology since 2008 focusing on electrification, driver assistance and infotainment Credentials
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Antuan Goodwin

Pioneer's prototype HUD could make it to the market as an aftermarket product or as an OEM option.
Pioneer's prototype HUD could make it to the market as an aftermarket product or an OEM option. IDG/YouTube

We've seen head-up displays (HUDs) before in production vehicles like the Chevrolet Corvette and the BMW 5-Series. However, these displays are often small, monochromatic, and use technology that's nearly a decade old. Pioneer aims to change this with a new laser-based prototype HUD, unveiled and demonstrated at Ceatec 2010 in Japan.

Pioneer's HUD uses lasers to project full-color animated maps and images onto a transparent panel, but Pioneer predicts that one day the system could be used to throw maps and turn-by-turn directions onto your vehicle's windshield. The prototype system connects to an Android OS smartphone for connection to the Internet, presumably to pull information such as traffic, weather, or POI data from the cloud, but it may even be pulling map data a la Google Maps.

The most obvious applications for this technology exist in the aftermarket (although Pioneer will probably need to shrink that laser projector before it can find a home in a car's cabin), but Pioneer's representative says the company is currently in talks with automotive OEMs.

Check out the video below to see Pioneer's laser-HUD in action.