Garmin wants you to stay connected behind the wheel without having to sacrifice safety with its new interactive head-up display (HUD). The HUD projects important driving information directly onto a vehicle’s windshield just below the driver’s line of sight.
To keep distractions to a minimum, the HUD has two use modes, passive and interactive. In passive mode, the HUD provides basic information including customizable audio, navigation and communication content. Garmin says navigation data would include things such as junction views, lane guidance, speed limit and safety warnings.
To activate interactive mode, drivers pass their hands over a steering wheel-mounted proximity sensor. From here users can select navigation routes, view traffic data, change radio stations and make phone calls.
Garmin’s HUD isn’t the first of its kind. Automakers including General Motors have been using such systems in their vehicles for several years. The inclusion of a proximity sensor on the steering wheel, however, is a wholly new concept.
If you’re not in the market for a new vehicle, but still want the benefits of a HUD, you can instead opt for Garmin’s new portable Head-up Display Plus (HUD+). Available in February for $179, the accessory offers similar functionality to the company’s interactive HUD, with the added benefit of being able to bring it with you into any car you use.
To use the device, drivers simply download the companion app for iOS, Android or Windows Phone and pair their handset with HUD+ via Bluetooth. Once connected, your phone will send relevant navigation and road guidance data to HUD+, which will display the information on your windshield.
We’ll be sure to bring you our hands-on impressions with both Garmin’s interactive HUD and HUD+ live from CES 2014 in the coming days.