Driving could soon be an entirely different, not to mention safer, experience thanks the growing popularity of augmented reality technology.

Pioneers have always been the first to bring new technologies and ideas into the limelight, paving the way for wider recognition and adoption. The same trend is occurring presently with the rise of augmented reality, as automobile manufacturers are driving growth through integration in new vehicles.

It’s likely that the technology will substantially change cars over the next decade, bringing about a new age of transport.

Availability of vehicular AR

The current range of augmented reality in vehicles is widespread, with improvements in safety as the clearest current direction. Technologies now range from heads-up displays (HUD) to virtual parking guides. Implementation of more radical AR designs is currently limited to concept vehicles and high-end cars.

Of course, as with most new technologies availability will spread to cheaper models over time, allowing a larger range of drivers to access the tech.

Current examples of AR in vehicles

A number of manufacturers have progressed with AR technologies, and continue to refine the technologies as yearly model revisions are released.

BMW, have developed a HUD technology designed to stream useful information onto the bottom of the windscreen. When travelling down the road, a driver only has to glance down slightly to see opaque road directions, speed limits and fuel consumption.

The company claim it halves the time to see information on the HUD as it does on the dashboard.

New Hyundai i40 vehicles use sensors mounted within the panels to detect objects in the immediate area, and provide drivers with an optimum parking arrangement, including lines to follow.

These technologies will only get smarter over time, and cheaper to implement. It likely won’t be long before augmented reality is a dependable tool for many more drivers.

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