A long-promised technological feature augmented reality, is going to be a reality for Audi Q4 e-tron EV. The head-up displays have given basic info like vehicle speed which is beamed onto the windshield of the car for the driver to view. The possibilities for AR in this space are enormous. Such a technology would extend the driver’s view of the real world via the windshield with vital warning signs, vehicle data, and navigation directions.
Images and icons appear to float in space around 10 meters ahead of the driver. The 10 meters distance keeps the information close to the driver. According to Audi, the overlaid information sends information quickly without being distracting or confusing. Below the AR imagery is the status section of the display. Its traditional HUD-provided information about the car is highlighted so that the driver can view the information there, like a traffic sign, vehicle speed, etc.
Audi’s system depends on what Audi calls a ‘picture generation unit.’ The device has to go inside the car’s dashboard among the vehicle controls, HVAC vents, infotainment displays, and instrument panels. The system uses an LCD shining onto two parallel mirrors, with unique optical components to divide the portions for the near-field and distant ranges.
The mirrors focus the light beams onto an adjustable concave mirror which directs the windshield images. That is where the driver views the AR, reflected in the glass. There are more than 600,000 lines of programming code in the Audi system. Audi mentioned that it is about half again as much as the early Space Shuttle used for flight control.
The AR Creator has to consider fractions-of-a-second lag between identifying an object by the sensors and displaying the information on the HUD. During this short gap, the Q4 e-tron is moving, so the Augmented Reality Creator foretells that movement to assure that the display overlays reality correctly.
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