Continental turned the windshield into one big TVMay 27, 2018
Technology, which previously could only be seen on concept cars, will soon appear on production cars.
Used in modern cars, projection screens occupy a small segment of the windshield or use a reflector as a reflector. In both cases, the construction is rather cumbersome and does not allow to significantly expand the area of the projection. The problem is solved by the technology of holographic waveguides, already widely used in military and civil aviation.
One of the pioneers of the development of augmented reality systems based on holographic waveguides is the Californian company DigiLens, to which the German concern Continental has invested heavily since 2016, and in May of this year brought its stake in the American company to 18% and introduced its man to the board of directors. The manufacturer of auto components has seen a great future in holographic waveguides and believes that the technology is already ready for industrial implementation – that is, it can be offered to car manufacturers.
Over the past ten years, the cost and size of Augmented Reality systems on the basis of waveguides have decreased tens of times, and DigiLens was one of the first to apply this technology on curved surfaces, that is, it has become suitable for use with car windshields, and it is possible to use their entire area. That is, now the necessary information or warning will not escape the attention of the driver, if, of course, he is looking at the road at all.
In the light of the coming era of autonomous driving, holographic waveguides look very promising in terms of broadcasting entertainment content. Especially convenient with their help to conduct car tours – a person looks out the window and immediately sees a description of a particular landmark.
It is still too early to talk about the final cost of such systems, it depends on the volume of output (the greater the circulation, the lower the price). But it is clear that the first holographic waveguides will receive premium cars, and only then this technology will go to the mass and budget segments.