Ces 2017: Mazda Cx - 5's Hud Projects Image On Windshield

CES 2017: Mazda CX-5's HUD Projects Image on WindshieldMazda Motor Corp employed a head-up display (HUD) that projects an image on the windshield for the new "CX-5" SUV (sport utility vehicle) in the aim of improving visibility.
This is the first time that Mazda has used such a windshield projection-type HUD for its vehicle designed for the Japanese market, the company said. The new CX-5 is scheduled to be released Feb 2, 2017.

An HUD displays an image as if data are floating in the driver's field of view. It is placed behind the meters of the instrument panel. An image displayed on its embedded LCD panel is reflected by a mirror and projected.

In the case of the CX-5, data such as speed and direction instruction are shown as if they are floating 2.6m away from the driver's eyes.

The HUD of Mazda's existing cars projects an image on a small plate called "Combiner" installed on the instrument panel. This time, the company improved the "distance" and "position" of displayed data by employing the windshield projection type, contributing to enhancing visibility.

An image projected by the former HUD is about 1.5m away from the driver's eyes, but it was increased to 2.6m this time. The longer distance enables to superimpose an image with a focal point close to that of the real scene being seen by the driver. As a result, the time it takes to focus on the image was reduced, improving safety.

The elimination of the Combiner made it possible to increase the height of a displayed image. The former HUD can display an image only at the height of the Combiner, and the driver needs to look up/down to check the image. Therefore, the new HUD can enhance visibility and comfort at the time of driving, Mazda said.

To reduce the frequency of eyeball movement, roadside traffic signs are also projected. A monocular camera attached to the upper center of the windshield is used to shoot images of traffic signs and recognize their types. Mainly, signs regarding safety and caution (e.g. No Entry, Stop and No Passing) can be recognized.

When the car is traveling at a speed higher than the speed limit, the HUD displays a warning sign to encourage safe driving. It does not support signs with some shapes or signs showing a large amount of information.