Head-up displays, to convey important information without a driver’s having to look away from his view of the road ahead, have been tried before. But there has been little success, since prior attempts were inflexible (not reconfigurable), and neither bright nor easy to read, and unresponsively monochromatic as well. Siemens-VDO has made a real breakthrough, by successfully innovating an appealing head-up display with a number of features that could not be accomplished at all previously.
This innovation has been the culmination of many years of dedicated R&D in several enabling areas. In this system, the breakthroughs were very high power LEDs and TFT (thin film transistor) LCD displays that made this level of head-up display possible. Now, instead of pre-configured content in the fixed display one saw, the Siemens-VDO system behaves like an LCD beamer projecting vital information so it appears to be 8 to 10 feet out in front of the car, near a driver’s line of vision, with very high resolution, and its brightness is appropriate to any light conditions, day or night.
The system is now flexible from the standpoint of what information is shown, coming from other electronic devices in the vehicle, for example speedometer, nav system, mobile phone, adaptive cruise control, gearshift indicator, or tachometer. Display is configured in bright colors, for ease of viewing and picking out specific information being sought in an instant. Drivers may elect not to view certain packets of information, too, for example omit cruise control if they do not use it. Driver “information” can really mean or imply relevance.
Siemens-VDO has also made breakthroughs in the internal design, construction, and manufacture of this device, again through lengthy and painstaking R&D.
The Siemens-VDO HUD is seen as a precision accessory consistent with BMW’s brand identity, in the latest new 5-series and 6-series vehicles, with better than anticipated acceptance and “take rates” already.