With Wi-Fi capability being offered in some vehicles and other cars being developed to drive autonomously, the auto industry is in the fast lane toward more futuristic amenities.
Last week's Tokyo Motor Show, a trade show where automakers show off their most innovative models, a few car companies unveiled concepts with augmented reality technology. With this feature, cars use a cellular data connection, GPS, cameras and projectors to turn windshields into displays.
Future Cars To Become Mobile Living Spaces: Photos
Augmented reality can add Web-surfing information and entertainment value to a car, but it can also improve safety.
For example, a car capable of sensing its surroundings could alert a driver via the windshield to unseen pedestrian in a blind spot. It could warn of potential collisions with other vehicles, direct lane changes and even illuminate objects in the dark by outlining them on the windshield.
At the show, Mitsubishi showed off its eX concept car, which has high-def cameras that actually replace the side-view and rearview mirrors. An augmented reality windshield provides navigational instructions and can tell the driver if she has veered out of the lane.
Google's Self-Driving Car Masters City Streets
Nissan unveiled its concept car "Teatro for Dayz," which was modeled after a smartphone has an LED-screen dashboard, according to Tech Insider, allows passengers to remain connected while driving. The all-electric car uses voice controls to adjust air-conditioning, audio and more, and for added entertainment, also features an onboard camera for drivers to take selfies.
Google is also making headway with its futuristic auto technology. According to BBC, Google is feeding programmed content to billboards in London that debut the most relevant ads depending on the time of day, weather and who might be driving by.
The possibilities are limitless. BBC explains: "That's just the sort of information that a Google-connected car could use to avoid certain exits, or find the cheapest gas, or begin heating the headlamps and wipers for the ice storm ahead. In this near-future, augmented reality isn't just you plus car, but you plus car plus the sum of all human knowledge (in real time)."
Smart Headlights Remember Roads, Adjust Lighting Accordingly
To be sure, other AR inventions have been unveiled in the past, like Jaguar's 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen concept in 2014 that projected a "ghost car" on the windshield glass that allowed drivers to mimic lane changes, and Mitsubishi's Emirai concept car that analyzes facial expresses and vital signs to inquire about whether you need a rest stop break and how far away you are from one.
With automakers increasingly driving this forward-looking movement, drivers are in for a surprising and entertaining ride.
Via BBC and Tech Insider