BABENHAUSEN, Germany -- Head-up displays, mainly at home in sports cars and luxury models, are about to go mainstream.
By 2018, global production of vehicles equipped with head-up displays is expected to total 5 million units, more than triple this year's production of 1.5 million such vehicles, according to Continental AG.
Now, 10 automakers offer head-up displays in 19 models, according to the company. Included in that count are relatively inexpensive "combiner" head-up displays, developed by Continental and other suppliers, that are suitable for small, inexpensive cars.
For example, the Mazda3 and Mini feature combiner head-up displays, and other models will follow. By 2018, Continental expects that about half of all head-up displays produced will be combiner units, while most others will be units that display virtual images on a small portion of the windshield that the driver sees about 8 feet in front of him.