Not only the look on the smartphone, but also on the head-up-display can be dangerous. Things can get really annoying if you look alternately at street and speedometer, fuel gauge or head-up display. “Including the necessary eye focus and brightness adjustment takes about half a second,” says Holger Ippen of the “Auto Zeitung”.
Less concentration and more clarity
At a speed of 120 kilometers per hour, half a second of missing focus corresponds to a distance of about 17 meters, which you virtually cover in blind flight. This can be prevented by head-up displays, where important information such as speed or information from the navigation system is projected onto the windshield.
Driver fatigue significantly lower
“These systems bring the information exactly where it’s needed: in the driver’s field of vision,” says Ippen. The driver fatiguously less tired because he no longer has to constantly switch between near and far sight, explains the expert. While for a long time they were only available in luxury-class vehicles from BMW or Audi, they have now arrived in the compact class.
Head-up-displays also in compact classes
The technology is not new, but it has only made it into the mass market in recent years. Among other things, Ippen sees the main reason for this in the more compact design of the head-up technology and the space optimization under the instrument panel: “This has freed space for new technologies.”
In addition, prices have fallen with the larger numbers: “Head-up displays are now very popular, especially since the cheaper version with the small plexiglass is being offered in more and more compact and mid-range vehicles,” explains Ippen. In this variant, the display does not land on the large windshield, but on a small folding Plexiglas disc that sits on the cockpit. The surcharge is here between 600 and 800 euros.
Narrow degree between perfection and overload
The system is significantly more expensive and expensive if the data is actually projected onto the windshield. For this purpose, a special windscreen must be installed, in which a wedge film is incorporated. If these are not processed exactly, the result can be a fuzzy display, according to Ippen.
Whether small or large solution – head-up displays can quickly overshoot the target, according to the German Road Safety Council (DVR). “The ad may not be overloaded, otherwise it irritates the driver,” says DVR expert Welf Stankowitz.
Head-up display – little conviction when retrofitting
Therefore, the systems should be limited to basic data such as speed, hazard warning and any indication of gear change. It is critical if it comes through the display to a multiple warning. If, for example, the driver perceives a pedestrian himself, the assistance system points to the obstacle with a warning sound and the head-up display flashes warningly, that is irritating and distracting, warns Stankowitz.
Head-up displays are also available as retrofit systems. The variants range from apps for smartphones to small projection devices that are mounted on the cockpit. Between 60 and 600 euros they cost. But whether cheap or expensive: “really has not convinced so far,” says Ippen.
The DVR also advises against retrofitting solutions. “The operation is often complicated, the displays blurred, and since the smartphone is then on the cockpit and must always be reoriented, distracts the result even more,” complains Stankowitz.