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Head-up display across entire windscreen enables new cockpit designs

Technology News |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt


Full-width screens are becoming increasingly popular, especially in the luxury segment. Continental is now going one better and presenting a head-up display (HUD) that extends from A-pillar to A-pillar.

Unlike previous head-up displays, the Scenic View HUD does not project the display onto the transparent area of the windscreen, but reflects instead the information relevant to the driver with high luminous intensity onto a specially coated area printed in black at the lower edge of the windscreen. This creates a sharp, brilliant image across the entire width of the windscreen. As a result, the Scenic View HUD offers excellent visibility in all lighting conditions and combines the best of both worlds: the intuitive view of a head-up display with the razor-sharp image quality of a classic screen.

The projection onto the coated windscreen offers further advantages: The display, which is virtually superimposed onto the road in the field of vision, is clearly visible to all vehicle occupants, even with polarised sunglasses. As a result, the Scenic View HUD is able to replace the cluster instrument and passenger display. Content of the centre display can be expanded and supplemented, which was previously not possible with traditional head-up displays.

“With the Scenic View HUD, we are setting a new trend and giving vehicle designers new design options. In this way, we are not only changing the design of the vehicle, but also contributing to greater safety on the road,” says Philipp von Hirschheydt, Head of the User Experience Business Unit at Continental.

Pillar-to-pillar effect in a cost-efficient way through modularity

For several years now, head-up displays have offered the advantage that, compared to traditional screens, they place the display directly in the driver’s field of vision. The direct perception on the driver’s line of sight creates a new driving experience and can increase driving safety. This is because the driver no longer has to take his eyes off the road to gather information on the route, speed, battery charge status, etc. This prevents the driver’s eyes from tiring due to a constant adjustment of visibility between the screen inside the vehicle and the road traffic in front of it. Until now, HUDs that project the display into the windscreen have not been able to match the display content of conventional vehicle displays in terms of resolution and information richness. Continental solves this problem with a continuous black print at the lower edge of the windscreen, which increases contrast and ensures visibility even in intense sunlight.

Projection into the area of this black strip creates a high-quality display from one A-pillar to the other. The Scenic View HUD thus gives the impression of a continuous innovative display with three compact, cost-efficient screens. To achieve this, multiple screens are hidden under the dashboard and linked together. This gives designers the opportunity to design the interior more freely than before. And vehicle manufacturers can equip different vehicle variants with one and the same display in different numbers – from two to five screens. Matrix backlighting makes it possible to switch screen areas on or off locally, depending on how much surface area is needed for display. This optimises contrast, brightness and power consumption of the Scenic View HUD. The market launch for the Scenic View HUD is planned for 2026.

The new Scenic View HUD will be on display at CES 2023, where it won the CES Innovation Award in the Vehicle Tech & Advanced Mobility category.

www.continental.com

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