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Konica Minolta Develops the World’s First* Automotive 3D Augmented Reality Head-up Display

Tokyo (February 27, 2017) - Konica Minolta, Inc. (Konica Minolta) has developed the world’s first* three-dimensional augmented reality head-up display (3D AR HUD) that meets the growing global need to assist safe driving. Designed to present 3D information (images) on the windshield to assist the driver.

*First technology to present information on the windshield at various positions for better recognition by the driver, depending on the distance from objects and the driving speed (research by Konica Minolta)

Overview of the Head-up Display (HUD) Technology

The automotive HUD technology is designed to present information directly in the driver’s field of view ahead. Most of the current HUDs present information on the windshield. Conventionally, car navigation systems and instrument clusters are used to present information to the driver. HUDs have been actively developed to enable the driver to obtain information while looking ahead, thereby increasing driving safety.

However, in the conventional HUD technology, changes in the driver’s eye point result in misalignment of the information presented on the road ahead (Fig. 1).

Features of the 3D AR HUD

  1. The 3D AR HUD can present information at different apparent distances depending on the driving speed (e.g. 40 m ahead when driving at 40 km/h in urban areas, 80 m ahead when driving at 80 km/h on highways).
  2. The technology can present 3D information, and the AR feature makes it possible to present information on the objects (e.g. pedestrians, obstacles) identified by sensors. Thus, information can be presented accurately regardless of the driver’s eye point (Fig. 2).

Fig. 1

Fig. 2

Value Proposition

  1. The 3D AR HUD can present necessary information at an apparent distance depending on the driving speed. This helps the driver recognize information with minimal focus adjustment and eye point movement, thereby assisting safe driving.
  2. The 3D AR HUD can present information at various apparent distances. Specifically, it presents 3D information about detected objects (e.g. pedestrians and obstacles ahead). The positions of such objects are presented visually to alert the driver in advance, giving the driver additional time to make judgments and maneuver the vehicle. Thus, the 3D AR HUD is expected to reduce the accident rate and make driving safer.

Background of the Development of the 3D AR HUD

In April 2016, Konica Minolta started joint research with the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory of the University of Tokyo to develop a technology for quickly projecting a 3D virtual image. The 3D AR HUD which was exhibited for reference is one of the research outputs. Konica Minolta will accelerate efforts to develop unconventional information presentation systems by continuously integrating its optical and sensing technologies with the high-speed image processing, image projection, and variable focus technologies developed by the Ishikawa Watanabe Laboratory. Eventually, Konica Minolta will develop a comprehensive safe driving assistance system that can quickly recognize and process information obtained by multiple sensors and notify the driver of hazards properly and promptly.

Konica Minolta will continue to utilize its technologies to meet the challenges and needs of society and offer solutions for assisting safe driving of vehicles and other means of transport.