Jaguar Land Rover has announced that it is working a new head-up display that generates 3D objects in front of the driver and on the road ahead. The automaker says that the new technology will project 3D warnings such as lane departure, sat-nav directions and information on upcoming road conditions.
The technology uses augmented reality tech and stereoscopic 3D imaging similar to the AR technology found in the latest MBUX-powered Mercedes A-class, however, this system will project images on the windscreen rather than on a screen.
Jaguar Land Rover says the technology may also be adapted for autonomous driving so passengers can watch 3D films. The project, which is being developed with the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) at University of Cambridge, will create a more direct form of communication with the driver, and will potentially improve reaction times.
Jaguar Land Rover's 3D head-up display wants to make road information crystal clear https://t.co/LgAzTfqXlg— CNET News (@CNETNews) August 20, 2019
“This consortium takes some of the best technology available and helps us to develop applications suited to the automotive sector,” said Valerian Meijering, human-machine interface & head-up display researcher for Jaguar Land Rover. “Not only does it provide a much richer experience for customers, but it also forms part of our Destination Zero roadmap; helping us to move towards a safer, more intuitive and smarter future, for everybody.”
Given the abundance of new technology, there are concerns that these new systems could be an additional distraction. Jaguar Land Rover, however, hopes that the technology, which projects information into the driver’s field of vision, will enhance the driving experience as well as safety on the road.
Despite Jaguar Land Rover’s ambitions, the automaker may face some legal obstacles. The UK government announced last week that they may ban hands-free kits because they distract drivers. According to the Transport Committee, the risk of a crash was as high while using a hands-free device as it was while using a hand-held phone, which has been illegal in the UK since 2003.
Experts, however, warned the committee that such a ban would negatively affect taxi drivers and delivery workers, who rely upon their devices while on the road. Yet MPs believe that just because something is currently legal, it doesn’t mean it is safe.
“The evidence shows that using a hands-free device creates the same risks of a collision as using a hand-held device, and it is, therefore, inappropriate for the law to condone it by omission," a government report stated. “We, therefore, recommend that the Government explore options for extending the ban on driving while using a hand-held mobile phone or other device to hands-free devices. This should consider the evidence of the risks involved, the consequences of a ban, and the practicalities of enforcing it.”
How this possible new ban might affect Jaguar Land Rover’s plans remains to be seen.