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Heads-Up Technology Puts Data on Car Windshields at Ces


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A drawing of a dashboard and windshield as designed by engineers at Visteon.

Automakers and suppliers at the Consumer Electronics Show are demonstrating windshield-based heads-up displays.

Credit: Visteon

Automakers and third-party vendors at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week are demonstrating what many of them hope will be the hot new automotive accessory: windshield-based heads-up displays that project everything from car status information to social media updates.

Several automakers already offer windshield heads-up displays in some of their newest models, but the displays being shown at CES are more advanced and offer more functionality. For example, Volvo is demonstrating a system that will flash bright symbols on a driver's windshield if they are about to collide with cyclists, while BMW is demonstrating a system that will let drivers change the radio and display speed warnings if they exceed preset limits.

Hyundai is showing the system included in its 2015 Genesis that will project alerts when a crash is imminent. Meanwhile, Jaguar Land Rover is advertising what it calls a "360 Virtual Urban Windscreen," which will fill the windshield with information.

Third-party vendors are showing smaller independent displays that can be mounted on a dashboard in any car and provide navigation and various smartphone-like capabilities.

Automakers and vendors say such displays should cut down on distracted driving by preventing drivers from checking their phones, but there is little data backing up this assertion and some worry the displays will make distracted driving worse.

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