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Automotive Head-Up Display Market Expanding

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July 3, 2013—Formerly used only in the cockpits of multimillion-dollar fighter jets, head-up displays (HUDs) now are finding their way into family cars—and fast.

Worldwide sales of cars equipped with HUDs are set to rise to 9.1 million in 2020, up from 1.2 million in 2012, according to a new report from IHS Automotive.

“Projecting an image that floats about 7.5 feet in front of motorists’ eyes, HUDs are the optimal display technology for cars,” said Ben Scott, technology solutions analyst for IHS Automotive. “Apart from showing speed and warning signals, HUDs are perfectly suited for displaying navigation information or advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) data, allowing drivers to access critical material while keeping their eyes on the road.”

When HUDs are combined with a vehicle’s GPS system, the driver can display map, turning and speed-limit and traffic sign information on the car’s windshield.

HUDs are capable of blind spot detection and alerting the driver that the car is too close to a vehicle in front. Other uses, such as showing text messages from mobile phones or display track information from MP3 players, are also possible.

Though HUD systems were introduced by General Motors in 1988, technical problems prevented their popularity. With current advances in technology, the interest from vehicle manufacturers is growing considerably.

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