To crack these problems and increase the system's usefulness, GM's Research and Development, Carnegie Mellon, The University of Southern California and several other institutions are working together to create a new HUD dubbed the "Enhanced Vision System." While older HUDs use special glass to reflect lights in an in-dash display toward the driver, this new system draws the display directly by shooting ultraviolet lasers at a photoreactive coating on the windshield.
Cameras observe the driver's position and eye movement, adjusting the display so that it's always in sight. The image is angled in a way so that the left and right eyes perceive the display as being far in the distance. This lets the driver focus on both the display and the road at the same time instead of having to refocus on the windshield to read information.
The Enhanced Vision System does a lot more than display information from the dash. Boundary lines for roadways and lanes can be drawn onto the glass, aiding drivers in foggy and dark conditions. GPS information is also integrated into the system, identifying routes by drawing them directly in view of the road. Once the destination is in view, the system can draw a circle around the location.
GM is still trying to work out what information will be going into the system. Infrared cameras, like those used in GM's early night vision system, could be used to identify hazards like animals. This could also be integrated with radar systems, which are already used for variable cruise control systems, allowing the vehicle to highlight roadway obstructions. Technology from GM's Opel system may also find its way into the display: Their Eye system is able to identify road signs and warn the driver if they are exceeding the speed limit or are coming up on road construction.
No release date for the system has been set, although GM R&D lab manager Thomas Seder has said the system could be put in cars in the "near future."