Revolutionary Car HUD Technology:The Latest Models and Applications!

Revolutionary Car HUD Technology:The Latest Models and Applications!

In-car HUD (Head Up Display) introduction

You may not have the chance to become a pilot, but at least you can experience the technology they use - HUD (Head Up Display).

HUD (Head Up Display) was initially a cutting-edge technology used in fighter jets, and later introduced to the car cockpit. Now, HUD (Head Up Display) is no longer exclusive to pilots, but one of the mainstream products in the automotive electronics field, and has become a flagship product of some automotive electronics companies.

The development of automotive electronics technology began with high-end cars, but as technology advances and costs decrease, it gradually spreads to more basic cars. HUD (Head Up Display) also follows this development path, initially appearing only in luxury cars and expanding downwards a few years later. Now, HUD (Head Up Display) is expected to become a popular automotive electronics product like Dash Cam. With the launch of new HUD products, this development model is constantly cycling.

So, what is HUD (Head Up Display)? It uses the principle of optical reflection to project important driving-related information onto the windshield to balance the reflection into the driver's eyes. The role of HUD (Head Up Display) is to allow drivers to view relevant driving information without having to look down at the dashboard or navigation. It displays driving information in a projected manner on the car's front windshield, which may include driving speed, battery voltage, water temperature, engine speed, fuel consumption, navigation route, etc.

Although the basic technology principle of HUD (Head Up Display) is not complicated, its stunning effect after operation always impresses people. Therefore, it has become one of the products that car manufacturers pay more attention to. If you want to know whether the technical difficulty of HUD (Head Up Display) is as simple as imagined, start learning about its development history!


In-car HUD (Head Up Display) development

Windshield Reflective HUD

Early HUD (Head Up Display) systems mainly adopted reflective technology to directly reflect relevant driving information onto the windshield. To meet the requirements of brightness and clarity, using this type of reflective HUD requires a transparent black film to be applied to the windshield. This type of HUD has lower technological levels and costs, and only uses LEDs to reflect light sources onto the windshield. The advantage is its low cost and applicability to the aftermarket; the disadvantage is the limited display range and single function, and the transparent black film may interfere with the driver's view and allow others to see the reflected information.


Combiner Type HUD

Combiner Type HUD is a type of Head Up Display that displays virtual images by placing a dedicated display screen between the windshield and the driver's seat. Unlike reflective HUDs, the driver information displayed by Combiner Type HUDs can only be seen from the driver's seat angle. This type of HUD can be found in both OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) and aftermarket products, but the difference between the two lies in the display screen. The OEM's Combiner Type HUD display screen can be electrically raised upon activation, while the aftermarket Combiner Type HUD needs to be manually attached between the windshield and the driver's seat and cannot be integrated with surrounding car electronics, also requiring manual adjustment of the display screen. Therefore, the OEM's Combiner Type HUD is more convenient, practical, and has a cooler display effect.
(UniMax’s Combiner Type HUD)


Windshield Type HUD

Windshield Type HUD, also known as WHUD, is a type of HUD (Head Up Display) that has significant differences compared to the first two types of HUD. The WHUD is embedded in the interior space in front of the dashboard, making the HUD body invisible. At the same time, its projection distance is farther than the Reflective Type HUD and Combiner Type HUD, allowing it to project several meters in front of the driver, perfectly combining with the driver's line of sight. The biggest feature of this HUD is that it can bring higher driver safety.

Because the imaging of the HUD is too far from the driver's visual road conditions, when the driver views the HUD, the eyes need to focus, causing the road conditions to become blurry, resulting in a situation similar to blind driving. WHUD directly images through the windshield, without the need for Reflective Type HUD's film or Combiner Type HUD's dedicated display screen. However, due to the imaging principle, direct use on regular windshields will produce overlapping images, resulting in a poor user experience. Therefore, cars equipped with WHUD need to replace the windshield with a wedge-shaped glass. The characteristic of wedge-shaped glass is that there is a special film layer in the middle of the glass that can solve the problem of overlapping images. However, the drawback is that the overall cost is expensive, becoming a symbol of luxury cars. WHUD is mostly installed in OE (Original Equipment), and AM(aftermarket) WHUD is very rare, and installation is not convenient, and the user experience is also affected due to overlapping images.

(UniMax’s Windshield Type HUD)



Similar to Windshield Type HUD, AR HUD is also installed in the front interior space of the dashboard and requires a wedge-shaped glass. However, compared to Windshield Type HUD, AR HUD can provide a wider projection image and a longer projection distance, which is crucial for increasing driving safety and providing more application functions. In addition to projecting major driving information such as driving speed, battery voltage, coolant temperature, engine speed, and fuel consumption, AR HUD can also achieve precise navigation, warning prompts, and accurate matching with the real-world environment.

Due to its powerful functions and cool technological effects, AR HUD is more advanced than Windshield Type HUD. However, its drawback is that it requires higher technical requirements and a larger projection panel, resulting in a bulky size, and not all cars can provide enough space to install AR HUD. Therefore, the vehicle's parts configuration needs to be specially designed to meet the installation requirements of AR HUD.


Flat type AR HUD

Flat type AR HUD is a new generation of HUD (Head Up Display), which is embedded in the front interior space of the dashboard and has a wide projection image and a long projection distance, inheriting the characteristics of AR HUD. In addition, it also solves the common technical problems of AR HUD. Previously, because AR HUD required a large-sized panel to project a wide image, it was very bulky, leading to a higher threshold for introduction. However, Flat type AR HUD has introduced advanced MAVE technology, which allows the external light path to image through penetration and reflection (such as a Venetian blind method), so it can project a wide image without the need for a large panel. This makes the size at least 30% smaller than AR HUD and easier to introduce into most vehicles. In addition, compared to AR HUD and Windshield Type HUD, which require a wedge-shaped glass, Flat type AR HUD's optical path design does not require a wedge-shaped glass, making it easier to popularize in the automotive electronics market.

However, the drawback of Flat type AR HUD is technical difficulty, and there are very few car electronics manufacturers with the ability to develop this technology. UniMax's Flat type AR HUD has a brightness efficiency of 8-30 times higher than other brands, and it has both mass production and technical capabilities, leading the world.

The above introduction can be seen that the same is HUD (Head Up Display), because of the different types, the required technical capabilities are also very different.
(UniMax's Flat type AR HUD, small size, low power consumption, no need to use wedge glass)


New Type of In-car HUD

With the rapid development of automotive electronics technology, modern cars are equipped with a large number of electronic products. However, the excessive use of these products has also become a major hidden danger to road safety. In order to solve this problem, modern cars not only pursue simple aesthetics in appearance but also begin to integrate and be compatible with automotive electronic products. Under this trend, HUD (Head Up Display) has also been injected with new vitality, and new types of HUD products have emerged.

HUD Aerial Car Dashboard

The Aerial HUD (Head-up Display) Car Dashboard by UniMax is a new type of HUD designed to keep up with the trend of integrating electronic devices into cars.

The content of the car dashboard is both rich and important, and is an indispensable component during the driving process. Due to the importance of the information displayed, it must be placed directly in front of the driver. However, to avoid blocking the driver's view, the dashboard is usually placed about 20 degrees below the driver's line of sight. When the driver needs to look at the dashboard, their eyes have to switch to near-focus vision, and they have to lower their head, causing a delay in eye focus and visual switching time. This creates a dangerous safety hazard as the driver is temporarily blind for 2 to 3 seconds while switching their gaze.

The function of the Windshield Type HUD is to assist the driver in more easily viewing important information. However, due to technical limitations, the imaging quality and image size of the Windshield Type HUD are restricted. It is typically projected about 4 degrees below the driver's line of sight, close to the driver's field of view. For safety reasons, the image size cannot be too large, so as not to block the driver's view. Of course, HUDs still have technical challenges, such as difficulties in introducing the technology.

In comparison, the Aerial HUD Car Dashboard can be placed about 10 degrees below the driver's line of sight, making it easy to see with just a slight lowering of the head. The transparent material does not obstruct the driver's view, and the image is projected at a distance of 1.7 meters, significantly reducing eye focus time, making driving more comfortable and safer. In addition, the Aerial HUD has high resolution and large image display specifications, capable of displaying all important information on the dashboard. It also has the advantage of easy implementation and low energy consumption.

(UniMax's HUDAerial Car Dashboard combines the advantages of a traditional car dashboard and WHUD, making it a new type of HUD.)

The role of In-car HUD

UniMax believes that HUD (Head Up Display) brings multiple functions to drivers:

  1. Real-time navigation information: able to display turn reminders, road names, and other key navigation information, also known as TURN BY TURN technology.

  2. Provides excellent driving experience and safety: when drivers look down at the dashboard and navigation, it can easily distract their attention and create blind driving distance, especially at high speeds, which can cause dozens of meters of blind driving distance. Therefore, HUD can help drivers collect important driving information without the need to look down, thus improving driving safety.

  3. Supports answering calls and messages: through streaming the surrounding vehicle electronic products, HUD can answer and hang up calls and messages on mobile phones through steering wheel control, gestures, or voice.

  4. Symbol of technology trendsetters: compared to Dash Cam, vehicles equipped with HUD can show off their identity as being at the forefront of technology and a trendsetter.

Given the different roles played by vehicle electronic products, UniMax believes that HUD will become a popular vehicle electronic product.

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