Some high-end cars use similar ‘HUD’ technology to the helmets worn by fighter pilots to project simple information on to the windscreen, the idea being that the driver doesn’t need to take their eyes off the road to check their current speed or see satnav driving directions.

Mercedes has long offered a simple HUD (Head-Up Display) on some models, but it recently demonstrated a concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in the US that takes the idea still further.

Tl_extracted 1

Some high-end cars use similar ‘HUD’ technology to the helmets worn by fighter pilots to project simple information on to the windscreen, the idea being that the driver doesn’t need to take their eyes off the road to check their current speed or see satnav driving directions.

Mercedes has long offered a simple HUD (Head-Up Display) on some models, but it recently demonstrated a concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in the US that takes the idea still further.

Instead of a traditional dashboard, the Mercedes Dynamic and Intuitive Control Experience — or DICE — uses a large touch-sensitive display (similar to that on an iPad) to show relevant information about the vehicle and the journey.

DICE also turns the windscreen into a touch-sensitive display of sorts, although reaching to open a message from a facebook friend while driving probably isn’t the best idea.

Perhaps more useful is the option for ‘augmented reality’ that can display building names or driving directions so that they appear to float over the actual environment visible through the windscreen.

Movie

General Motors is working on something similar and its Enhanced Vision System can be used to highlight the road to aid driving in poor visibility conditions and even display infrared images to help with driving at night.

Movie

GM’s latest research however, is aimed at passengers rather than drivers. Its ‘Windows of Opportunity’ project uses transparent, touch-sensitive, side-window displays to replace the rear-seat screens commonly used to keep the kids quiet on long journeys.

The window displays can be be used to browse the internet and play games, but the addition of location awareness and — that term again — augmented reality means that passengers can also interact with their environment in different ways. And presumably whatever the windows are displaying isn’t visible from the outside…

Movie

The kind of ‘smart glass’ technology that Mercedes and GM are researching isn’t likely to appear in production cars for some time, but it does give some idea what the car interiors of the future might consist of one day — and it’s a day that probably can’t come to soon for windscreen repairers…

Share with friends

Follow us on

Most recent caravan reviews

The Practical Caravan 2017 Coachman VIP 565 review – 1 - The VIP’s looks have stayed fairly constant since 2012, yet it remains a desirable luxury tourer – plus, the front gas locker door boasts double locks (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Caravelair Antarès 476 review – 1 - The Caravelair Antarès 476's quirky, one 'eye' looks hint at the unusual layout inside – it has an MTPLM of 1200kg (© Phil Russell/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Buccaneer Galera review – 1 - The silver sides are new and give the 2017-season Buccaneer caravans a distinctive, upmarket look (© Andy Jenkinson/Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Hymer Nova GL 470 review – 1 - Its external styling is a little boxy and retro, but there's no getting away from the Hymer Nova GL 470's £27,690 price and 1700kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)

Xplore 554

£15,599

The Practical Caravan Xplore 554 review – 1 - The new-for-2017 Xplore 554 is aimed at couples and has a 1335kg MTPLM (© Practical Caravan)
The Practical Caravan Knaus StarClass 480 review – 1 - A Continental van with its door on the UK nearside, shows that Knaus is committed to wooing British caravanners – does it work with the StarClass 480? (© Peter Baber/Practical Caravan)