Reply to post: Re: Wrong question

Hide the HUD, say boffins, they're bad for driver safety

juice Silver badge

Re: Wrong question

Having just come back from a 2,500 mile drive to Austria and back[*]... I found cruise control to be the best thing since sliced bread. However, the long roads do seem to encourage some bad driving practices on the continent; on the dual carriageways, people tend to overtake with their cruise control set to just a few kph faster than the speed you're driving at. So if you're coming up to a slower-moving vehicle, you either have to brake or rev your engine to nip out before the cruise-controller blocks you in...

Anyhow, back to HUDs, and it's the same as anything else (e.g. smart-phone interfaces): it'll take time

to evolve something which offers relevant information in a non-obtrusive way. Simple shapes/icons, use of colour-coding, etc. The article's point about fighter-plane HUDs is a good one; not only do the military spend lots of money on trying to make the HUDs effective, but the pilots themselves are heavily trained to make best use of them. Something which can't be guaranteed when it comes to Joe Bloggs in his company BMW...

In fact, I suspect the main issue will be that car manufacturers will have to downplay the expectations of people who've seen the heavily contrived VR/HUD displays in things like Minority Report and Iron Man. Slapping something like those onto someone's windscreen is pretty much a guaranteed recipe for disaster...

[*] And the worst bit of this journey? It wasn't the french potholes or the german trucks. It was the M1 and M25, thanks in no small part to the huge swathes of 50mph semi-permanent roadwork zones and the enforced slowdowns for accidents/closed lanes/temporary roadworks. Especially since at least two of the latter proved to not exist at all! And that brings up another point about HUDs and "smart" roadways: information needs to be both relevant and timely...

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