Volvo Cars Windshields Will Become Smart AR Displays


Volvo Cars

Recently, Slashgear reported that Volvo Cars had invested in an optical imaging start-up company called Spectralics. The car manufacturer wants to develop a new technology that can turn the entire front windshield into a display. This technology is more complete than the current HUD display. Volvo said it helps to improve the driving experience, keeping the driver’s sight always in front and enhancing safety.

Spectralics is developing an optical film that can be applied to transparent surfaces of various shapes and sizes. Thus, it is usable for the curved front windshield or window of a car. It is a multilayer film composite (MLTC) that can display images.

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Volvo’s system not only relies on the display film but also requires the vehicle to come with anti-blind zone cameras and sensors. The windshield can display navigation information and real-time speed. In the dark night or in an environment with poor visibility, the front glass can also display images acquired by car sensors and cameras. They are superimposed on the real picture. This helps the driver to drive safely in dense fog or rain and snow. The cars with such technology will timely determine the obstacles ahead and prevent rear-end collisions.

How Will The New Technology Work On Volvo Cars?

As Spectralics explains it, “when its MLTC is used on a car’s windshield, it creates an extra-wide field of view for the digital overlay, in the process providing drivers a sense of distance with virtual objects superimposed on the real-world environment. The technology could include advanced filters for in-cabin sensing, blind-proof front-looking cameras, and digital holographic projections.“

However, not everything is as simple as you might think. Many people worry about the cost of this technology. In some high latitude areas, strong winds are prone to occur in winter. Apart from strong winds, sand and gravel may also damage the windshield. In addition, ice cubes from the roof will fall outside in winter, damaging the windshield. If the cost of Volvo’s display technology is too high, the cost of replacing the front windshield will be very high as well. In other words, even if it appears on some models, they will be flagships priced too high.

This might sound unreal at the moment, but Volvo Cars has a long history of debuting new safety technology for vehicles. Moreover, most of them appeared on other automakers’ models over time. So there is every reason to think this is going to be another technology from the series. Moreover, it’s quite useful. You know that driving in extreme weather conditions is dangerous. Say, when driving during heavy snow, it’s often impossible to see very far. Stopping is not recommended as well. So similar technologies could be very helpful.

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