Driving with HUD 

Driving with HUD

And you thought you'd only see it in the movies.

Now you don't need to be Tom Cruise embarked on a mission impossible to experience the ultimate in hi-technology. One of the newest and certainly most fascinating technological advancement today comes in the form of a virtual screen on your car's windshield.

Originally developed as technology for military fighter jets, The Head Up Display is now creating a buzz in the automotive industry as we continue to move in the era of GPS. The Head Up Display or HUD works by projecting information (such as speed, altitude, etc) in a semi-transparent fashion over the outside view. Rather than having to look down at their consoles and dashboards for information, the car driver can now visualize his road direction and other information directly on the windscreen of his car in front of his eyes.

In a country where it is estimated that about 25%, or 1.5 million, of all accidents are caused by driver distraction, this is really good news. In fact, some cars already employ the HUD technology - BMW's 5- and 6-Series models, the Saab 9-7x, the Cadillac XLR, and the new 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06, to name a few.

I haven't even finished appreciating the idea of a HUD-equipped car when I got wind of the information that there was a way more advanced technology also in the works: thermal imaging for cars! The new system will use a thermal imaging camera to display images on a central monitor in the instrument panel. The thermal imaging system will show warmer object brighter on the screen, making it easier to see animals, people, and vehicles beyond the reach of the auto headlights. Whoa. Talk about getting ahead of the game.

And here I was thinking all I needed was a click to Auto Parts Corner for a replacement for my Honda rearview mirror.

But then again, wouldn't images on your windshield mean taking your eyes off the road too?

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