According to an article on Nikkei Technology, Taiwan Automotive Research Consortium (TARC) developed a full color head-up display, or HUD, that can show a videophone screen. I’m all for HUD screens in the car but I don’t feel that including the videophone option is a good idea.
When Tesla first announced the Model 3 and showed their prototype, the car was missing the instrument panel. Many speculated that the car would get a HUD system to display information such as your speed, gas gauge and so forth. This turned out not to be true as this information would now be displayed on the screen mounted in the center console.
When there was speculation that the Tesla Model 3 might get a HUD, I was excited and almost put down a deposit to get one. Having the speedometer, gas gauge and many of the other information you get from your instrument panel in a HUD makes sense to me. But not a videophone screen.
Do you really need to be able to video chat while driving? No. It’s just another distraction. Yes, the videophone screen would be directly in front so you would still be able to see what’s going on in front of you but I know some people who use the visor mirror and they still don’t see the cars breaking in front, which isn’t a far stretch for your peripheral vision.
According to the article on Nikkei Technology, the HUD can display a variety of information such as a map of the surrounding area and weather forecasts. A map I can understand. But do you really need weather forecasts while you’re driving?
This new HUD system would first be available in the China and Taiwan markets but I really don’t see this becoming available in the US. I doubt this system would pass regulatory testing here in the US unless the amount of information it displays is scaled down to only the necessities to reduce the amount of distractions. As it is, the number 1 cause of accidents is distracted drivers.
In Taiwan and China, regulations aren’t as stringent. Dash cams are normal because it’s not that they’re bad drivers, they just don’t follow regulations even if they were stringent. I’m from Taiwan myself and one way roads become two ways. One lane roads turn into many lanes depending on how you squeeze your car into the lane alongside another car in the same direction.
To the everyday driver, a red light means it’s OK to drive through it if there’s no cross traffic in the middle of the night but when it’s green, you have to watch for cars running through red lights.
When I was young and visiting Taiwan during the summers, I noticed that CB radios in your personal car is common as people like to chat with others while driving. Now everybody has smartphones. And if this HUD goes on sale, everybody will be video chatting with each other.
I can see this being a big seller in Asia but I personally don’t think it’s a good idea with the videophone and weather forecasts. There might be more features that wasn’t listed in the article but anything more than what’s necessary for driving is just a distraction and I wouldn’t want to be driving next to a car that has all of these distractions.
I especially don’t want to be in front of a car that has all of these distractions. I don’t want to get rear-ended.
Reference article: Videophone Screen Shown on Head-up Display