Using a small piece of real estate on the windshield to project information is nothing new. In fact, is has been around for nearly 20 years. Interestingly enough, as most of our technologies evolve into more compact forms, GM is hoping to supersize their next generation Heads Up Display.
The folks at GM are looking to create what they call an "Enhanced Vision System," which is basically a fancy way of saying "easier to drive under less than favorable conditions." The centerpiece of the project would be a phosphors coated windshield that is, as one would hope, completely transparent under normal conditions. If the weather begins deteriorate and you find yourself in a bank of fog, or any limited visibility situation for that matter, the windshield can pull double duty as a means to keep you between the lines.
By using a low powered laser and an Infrared Camera system, this Enhanced Vision System would be able to "draw" the lines onto your windshield when driving at low to medium speed. This would essentially allow you to see the edge of the road well before you were close enough to cause an accident.
The system could also be used to spot obstructions on or near the road and either provide some kind of warning to the driver, or project an outline of the object onto the windshield. This would also work well during nighttime driving, even when the conditions are well suited for roadway travel.
Another benefit of having the display appear directly in front of the driver and passenger, is the simple fact that this is where we are used to looking for anything potentially dangerous. Similar systems for detecting obstructions and wildlife can be purchased and installed as an aftermarket accessory, but they often require another screen mounted on/in the dash. Using the windshield will allow the driver to keep eyes on the road while being alert for anything that may call for evasive action.
The system is currently being developed and tested in collaboration with several universities and independent firms. GM Media