Harman Unveils Augmented Reality for Head-Up Displays

Harman is introducing hardware, software and vehicle sensor connectivity tech that is less costly and should enable HUD systems for more mainstream applications.

Drew Winter, Contributing Editor

January 10, 2023

3 Min Read
Ready Vision’s AR software integrates with vehicle sensors to deliver immersive audio and visual alerts that empower driverHarman

Aside from a handful of high-end luxury vehicles, head-up displays have not progressed much in the past 20 years – until now.

Because the systems traditionally have been expensive, bulky and took up lots of crucial real estate in the instrument panel, they have been limited to displaying only a few key bits of crucial information related to speed, navigation and infotainment.

But the need to limit driver distraction by putting more information directly in front of their eyes has been powerful, and years of development work is exploding at CES 2023 with numerous OEMs and suppliers promising vastly improved HUDs in a year or two.

The HUD in BMW’s ’25 Neue Klasse battery-electric vehicle span the entire windshield and clearly is a premium feature. But numerous suppliers are announcing hardware, software and sensors that will enable HUD systems to become a reality for more mainstream vehicles.

Harman, a subsidiary of tech giant Samsung, is one such company.

At CES, Harman announced its Ready Vision product, which it says is a set of augmented reality and HUD hardware and software products designed to enhance driver safety and awareness.

A spokesperson says Ready Vision’s AR software integrates with vehicle sensors to deliver immersive audio and visual alerts that empower the driver with critical knowledge and information, in a timely and non-intrusive manner.

The company says Ready Vision bridges the physical and digital worlds by displaying intuitive turn-by-turn directions on the windshield to help enhance driver cognition. It also uses computer vision and machine learning for 3D object detection to deliver non-intrusive collision warnings, blindspot warnings, lane departure, lane-change assist and low-speed-zone notifications to the driver, with high precision.

“This launch is a key component of Harman’s mission to enhance the safety of drivers, passengers and pedestrians, while cultivating transformative in-cabin experiences,” says Armin Prommersberger, senior vice president-Product Management, Harman International.

“Ready Vision solves key industry challenges around driver safety by helping drivers better understand their surroundings and enabling an eyes-forward, focused journey. Our new product empowers the driver with the right information at the right time, even in the most unfamiliar driving scenarios, making their time on the road more intuitive and safe.”

Ready Vision is part of a long list of new products being introduced by the company at CES. Harman says they all are ready for the road and have demonstrated they deliver compelling in-cabin experiences.

Each product is designed to work independently to deliver specific vehicle safety, well-being, and connectivity benefits, but also are building blocks that can be integrated with other Harman products for an enhanced experience.

For example, the company says Ready Vision is compatible with its Ready Care technologies, which offer extended situational awareness through enhanced audio/visual alerts when driver distraction is detected.

Key Features of Ready Vision: AR HUD Hardware and Software

Harman says the hardware design enables a large field of view, long virtual depth, optimal eye box and high brightness with a compact package volume and a wedgeless windshield design, which the company says provides major cost savings to OEMs. Two size options are available.

The AR software includes artificial intelligence and a machine learning-based software framework that integrates with computer vision to display the right information at the right time with low latency for real-time 3D object detection.

The system also prioritizes the display of relevant objects without obstructing the driver view, and the AR software integrates multiple sensors such as navigation, ADAS and microphones to create smart and timely visual and audio alerts.

Ready Vision also incorporates Harman’s directional and spatial audio into its software platform to help enhance driver perception and support their ability to respond faster to threats.

About the Author(s)

Drew Winter

Contributing Editor, WardsAuto

Drew Winter is a former longtime editor and analyst for Wards. He writes about a wide range of topics including emerging cockpit technology, new materials and supply chain business strategies. He also serves as a judge in both the Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems awards and the Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX awards and as a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards.

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