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20 August, 2019 - 16:18 By Kate Sweeney

Cambridge University and Jaguar Land Rover to develop 3D head-up display for cars

The University of Cambridge is working with Jaguar Land Rover to develop next-generation head-up display technology that could beam real-time safety information in front of the driver, and allow passengers to stream 3D movies directly from their seats.

The research – undertaken in partnership with the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) at University of Cambridge – is focused on developing an immersive head-up display, which will closely match real-life experience allowing drivers to react more naturally to hazards and prompts.

Engineers are working on a powerful new 3D head-up display to project safety alerts, such as lane departure, hazard detection, sat nav directions, and to reduce the effect of poor visibility in poor weather or light conditions. Augmented reality would add the perception of depth to the image by mapping the messages directly onto the road ahead.

Studies conducted in Germany show that the use of stereoscopic 3D displays in an automotive setting can improve reaction times on ‘popping-out’ instructions and increase depth judgments while driving.

In the future, the innovative technology could be used by passengers to watch 3D movies. Head- and eye-tracking technology would follow the user’s position to ensure they can see 3D pictures without the need for individual screens or shutter glasses worn at the cinema.

In a fully autonomous future, the 3D displays would offer users a personalised experience and allow ride-sharers to independently select their own content. Several passengers sharing a journey would be able to enjoy their own choice of media – including journey details, points of interest or movies – optimised for where they are sitting.

Professor Daping Chu, Director of Centre for Photonic Devices and Sensors and Director of the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics, said: “This programme is at the forefront of development in the virtual reality space – we’re looking at concepts and components which will set the scene for the connected, shared and autonomous cars of the future. 

“CAPE Partners are world-leading players strategically positioned in the value chain network. Their engagement provides a unique opportunity to make a greater impact on society and further enhance the business value of our enterprises.”

Valerian Meijering, Human Machine Interface & Head-Up Display Researcher for Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Development in virtual and augmented reality is moving really quickly. This consortium takes some of the best technology available and helps us to develop applications suited to the automotive sector.”

The next-generation head-up display research forms part of the development into Jaguar Land Rover’s ‘Smart Cabin’ vision: applying technologies which combine to create a personalised space inside the vehicle for driver and passengers with enhanced safety, entertainment and convenience features as part of an autonomous, shared future.

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