More and more automakers are now offering heads-up displays on their vehicles, from Jaguar Land Rover to Mercedes-Benz with their Augmented Reality tech. However, these displays often project only to a small portion of the windshield. They also show only a few details such as vehicle speed and navigation.
Volvo wants to change that. Specifically, they want to make the entire windshield into a heads-up display.
The Swedish automaker is currently funding a startup, Spectralics, to develop new tech that could turn the windshield into a massive heads-up display. Spectralics recently introduced something called multi-layer thin combiner (MLTC). It's a thin film that can be applied to transparent surfaces and allow images to be overlayed onto the surface.
With the tech, Volvo claims they could create a heads-up display throughout the entire windshield where virtual objects are layered on top of the real-life view out of the windshield. As a result, it could provide the driver and occupants with a more immersive driving experience. The automaker could also use the tech to display more driving information such as advanced filters for various applications, in-cabin sensing, blind-proof front-looking cameras, and digital holographic projections.
“This investment is another result of our successful collaboration with MobilityXlab and DRIVE, and it deepens our relationship with these innovation partners. Spectralics is a good portfolio fit for us and we believe that their technology has the potential to set a standard for the next generation of displays and cameras,” said Lee Ma, head of the Volvo Cars Tech Fund.
As cool as a heads-up display for the entire windshield sounds, Volvo has yet to say when the technology will be ready for commercialization. The automaker did not disclose information on which vehicles will come with MLTC tech either. Whatever the case, we can't wait to see how Volvo cars will be once this new tech is rolled out onto production models.