The Benefits of Having a Heads Up Display in Your Windshield or on Your Helmet

When people hear about some of the advancements that scientists are making in the field of heads up displays for automobiles, a lot of them think that the work that these scientists and researchers are doing is superfluous. They think it’s work that is interesting, but does not have a real impact on the way that people live and drive an automobile. Nothing could be farther from the truth though. To understand how important improving the way that people get information while they are driving is, one only needs to think about the following scenario.

Imagine that an individual is driving down the freeway at 125 km/h. They want to check their gas gauge and see how fast they are going. So in order to do this, they take their eyes off of the road and look at the display on their vehicle. When they are looking out the window, they have a wide field of vision. Their eyes are scanning over miles of the area in front of them. However, when they look down on their car’s display, they are only looking a few inches away. It takes the human eye some time to adjust to looking at something that is far away to looking at something that is up close. After they look at their car’s display, they then return their vision to the road. Once again, it takes their eyes a few seconds to adjust from seeing something that was so close to now taking in the entire view that is in front of them. The time that it takes to read the display, as well as the time that it takes their eyes to accommodate from looking from a far distance to something up close and then again from looking at something up close to looking at a wide area, is about half a second. That may not seem like a lot, but if the driver is doing 125 km/h, they are going to be driving on the road blind for about 33 m. This is the equivalent of one third of a football field. In that time so many things can happen that can lead to a disaster.

This underscores the importance of having a heads up display exactly where the driver needs it, right in their line of sight. Heads up displays that are on a windshield, or a helmet mounted heads up display, puts all of the information that a driver needs in their line of sight. They do not need to avert their gaze, and they do not risk causing an accident.

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