Jaguar Land Rover is developing a 3D head-up display | CAR Magazine

Jaguar Land Rover is developing a 3D head-up display

Published: 20 August 2019

► In partnership with University of Cambridge 
► 3D-stereoscopic imaging with HUDs
► Should improve driver reaction times

Car interiors are getting ever more complicated and packed with touchscreens, gesture controls and other gadgets – but JLR’s latest cabin concept is the most sci-fi yet. Jaguar Land Rover has revealed it’s developing a new type of head-up display – one that actually generates 3D objects in front of the driver, and beams them on the road ahead. It’s all getting very Minority Report, isn’t it? 

According to JLR, the new technology will project warnings such as lane departure, sat-nav directions and information onto the road ahead – using augmented reality tech and stereoscopic 3D imaging. We’ve seen AR technology before – most notably in the latest MBUX-powered Mercedes A-Class – but that was implemented on a screen, and this will be projected onto the windscreen itself. 

JLR says the technology could be further adapted for autonomous technology, so that both passengers could watch 3D films individually. 

The project – which is run in association with the Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics (CAPE) at the University of Cambridge – should offer a more seamless way of expressing information to the driver, and should improve reaction times. ‘This consortium takes some of the best technology available and helps us to develop applications suited to the automotive sector,’ said Valerian Meijering, human machine interface and head-up display researcher for Jaguar Land Rover. 

‘Not only does it provide a much richer experience for customers, but it also forms part of our Destination Zero roadmap; helping us to move towards a safer, more intuitive and smarter future, for everybody.’

Help or hindrance?

Car interiors must now walk a fine line between informing and distracting; JLR hopes that this new technology – which beams info into the drivers’ real-world view – will be more the former.

Still, that balance has been a hot topic recently: we’ve been moaning about the cons of touchscreens for a while now, and only last week it was revealed the UK government could ban hands-free kits because they divert drivers’ attention. 

We’ll update this article with any new developments.

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's Digital Editor, F1 and sim-racing enthusiast. Partial to clever tech and sports bikes