Panasonic Automotive Systems Co. of America showcased several technologies focused on the cockpit and other in-vehicle experiences Monday during virtual CES.
Panasonic Automotive, a supplier of audio and navigation systems, batteries, motors and sensors, says its new augmented reality head-up display covers more of the road.
Traditional cluster readings such as vehicle speed and fuel level are displayed in the near field of the head-up display, while navigation and other driver data are mapped spatially to the road ahead in the far field.
It's part of the company's evolving role in developing head-up displays, said Scott Kirchner, president.
"I think one of the challenges [with HUDs] has been they were good from the perspective of keeping your eyes forward and on the road, but the information they were putting in that field of view was redundant," Kirchner told Automotive News before the company's press conference. "It was what was already in another display in the vehicle, often the instrument panel cluster.
Head up displays typically rely on an advanced polyvinyl butyral film inner layer in windshields.
"Our first foray in HUD was really focused on how do we make HUDs smaller, cheaper, easier to package in the instrument panel itself so it wasn't so expensive to do," he added. "Even with that, we've seen HUDs ramp up, and we've been a big part of that and really penetrate the market, it's still redundant information on the HUD."
Panasonic's solution was to partner with Phiar Technologies to add 3D localization, artificial intelligence-powered navigation and situation awareness analytics to the HUD, and with Envisics to incorporate holographic technology.
The head-up display uses eye-tracking technology to project information at the driver's level of sight. Advanced optics provide an expanded field of view, while augmented reality technology, boosted by artificial intelligence, provides 3D graphics that adjust with the moving vehicle's surroundings. The display also provides real-time environment information updates.
"It just becomes this experience where I don't have to think about what the vehicle is telling me," Kirchner said. "It's very intuitive. It's low-cognitive load, and it enhances the safety rather than being distracting.
"Augmented reality and AI come into how we make that user experience in the cockpit safer by finding those threats on the road or those objects we want to make people aware of and highlighting them in very intuitive ways and drawing their attention to them in a way that's low-cognitive load and they understand it," he added. "It's also around, what can we do with that AR and AI technology to make that experience more convenient and pleasant?"