Follow Slashdot stories on Twitter


Forgot your password?
Transportation Technology

Carmakers Prepare For Augmented Reality Driving 177

An anonymous reader writes "Car manufacturers at CES are showing off their future integration of mobile computing technologies and automobiles. Quoting CNN: 'As digital tech — and our expectations for it — becomes more mobile, carmakers are taking notice. Many automotive designers here seem to have taken inspiration from smartphones, with their promise of being always connected and their vast menu of apps for every purpose. ... Simply point your hand at them, and the icons open to show real-time information: when that bridge over there was built, what band is playing at that nightclub on the left, whether that new café up the street has any tables available. Wave your hand again, and you've made a restaurant reservation. ... All these advancements may make driving more interesting. Or they may spoil one of modern society's last refuges from the hyper-connected digital world. Either way, they are coming soon.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Carmakers Prepare For Augmented Reality Driving

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:06PM (#38688800)

    How about when you are driving, you pay attention to driving?

    • by i kan reed ( 749298 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:07PM (#38688826) Homepage Journal

      Maybe we'll get lucky and the car will drive itself?

      • by dintech ( 998802 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:08PM (#38688846)

        You have a wife too?

      • Maybe we'll get lucky and the car will drive itself?

        How is that lucky? You know, there are some of us who just enjoy driving. (You can tell. We're the ones with manual transmissions.)

        • by geekoid ( 135745 )

          Depend on the car. If you ahve a manual and drive a sedan, you either can't afford a manual, or you have choses a pathetic way to show you love to drive.
          I love to drive. Everything about it. When I am* traffic, it seldom bothers me unless I am late. I love going fast. I'm one of those freaks where a passenger can ask me what vehicles are around my car and I can answer them correctly without taking my eyes off the road.

          I went to 2 driving schools, can do a 'bootlegger', take a curve, know when to brake, whe

          • Mostly agree - *except* if you drive an econobox for practicality (or economic) reasons, there's nothing wrong with that being a manual.
    • Strip Club (Score:4, Funny)

      by sycodon ( 149926 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @03:06PM (#38689826)

      In local news, police are struggling to deal with the startling increase in traffic around local area strip clubs. Apparently the new "augmented reality" displays in the new cars are showing 30 second previews of their wares.

    • by timeOday ( 582209 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @03:10PM (#38689890)
      Augmented reality doesn't have to be about multi-tasking.

      Ask yourself, why do people have to die in huge multi-car pileups []? There is no reason your car shouldn't have radar-augmented vision.

      (And no, simply asking "why don't people just slow down?" does not fix this problem. The pileup begins when somebody does exactly that!)

      • by Anrego ( 830717 ) *

        I don't know if it would really help.

        The thing that leads to multicar pileups is cars are driving at such a speed and in such proximity that it is actually impossible to stop in time. I think even if the system automatically engaged the brakes (and assuming the guy behind you has the same system) .. you'd still get a crash in most cases.

        • The first cars might still crash, but the dozens of cars behind them could have time to stop. Hence why multiple car pileups are almost exclusively associated with a degraded visual environment.
        • by Thing 1 ( 178996 )

          The thing that leads to multicar pileups is cars are driving at such a speed and in such proximity that it is actually impossible to stop in time. I think even if the system automatically engaged the brakes (and assuming the guy behind you has the same system) .. you'd still get a crash in most cases.

          Other response indicated poor visibility is a major factor in pile-ups; I wanted to also add: with self-driving vehicles they would also communicate, and rapidly. So, for those cars which have available space to the right (breakdown lane) or possibly left (shoulder before barrier, on a highway), "every other car" could peel off into that space, giving more space behind for those cars to come to a stop without colliding.

      • There is a reason your car doesn't have radar-augmented vision: cost.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 )

      Are you insane? pay attention to the road? Next you will suggest I drive in a safe and courteous manner.

      How un-american of you!

  • by Magada ( 741361 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:06PM (#38688810) Journal

    Get out of jail free cards for everyone, guys! Just claim the HUD malfunctioned and gave you a seizure (or simply obscured your view) if you happen to run over some pedestrian.

    Who's to say it ain't so?

    • by alendit ( 1454311 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:22PM (#38689134)

      The same people who won't let you get away with claiming that your brakes malfunctioned?

      • It's easy to verify that after the fact though. Without some recording of the windshield activity it would be very difficult or impossible to prove that the windshield didn't go black for a second.

        • There you go, all activity will be recorded. Even now there black-box like devices in some car, the monitoring will have to be more extensive.

          • Excellent. I want it all recorded. And I insist on my 4th Amendment rights to privacy in my "papers and effects", as well as my 5th Amendment rights not to be forced to incriminate myself. So I can reveal the recordings to defend myself, but nobody can force me to allow them to be used against me.

            • by geekoid ( 135745 )


              Yes, the discussion should stop being about being tracked, it should be about your rights. People need to realize everything is going to be recorded one way or another. Fight to keep your 4th and 5th amendments rights regarding data.

        • If your windshield goes black, then you are clearly at fault for not washing it. There is a reason even the most advanced aircraft with the newest glass cockpit avionics *still* have windows to use a plain old mark I eyeball. Hell, with the exception of the most advanced ILS, the FAA doesn''t allow landing an aircraft if you can't see the runway, the DoT will be no different.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Who's to say it ain't so?

      the 3tb black box running locked down firmware logging everything due to your warranty conditions, friendly police office/insurance/garage company will just jack in via the Ford/Gm API on his smartphone app and voila a complete replay of your last 90days driving, complete with video output from the front/rear cams, GPS position, in car audio monitoring, driver head position, external/internal temp, driver eyes open/closed, speed, revs, brake position, door status, passenger numbers,

      • by blueg3 ( 192743 )

        You paint an awfully optimistic picture of automotive black-boxes. Current ones capture a substantial amount of data regarding sensor readouts and human inputs (usually using a sliding time window), but are often only readable by the car manufacturer using custom hardware and software. Even law enforcement agencies have to get the car manufacturer to take the black box and give them data from it.

    • That's already the status quo in most jurisdictions in the US.

      "I didn't see them" is good enough, even if you've killed someone.
      • No it's not good enough in most jurisdictions. "Vehicular manslaughter" is the conviction when the defense is "I didn't see them", but you should have.

    • Thing is...the thing that makes the HUD also has a camera as part of it's system. The camera will record what you were doing.

  • Thump! (Score:5, Funny)

    by PPH ( 736903 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:09PM (#38688858)

    And here's the Facebook page of that pedestrian you just ran over.

    • Funniest comment in thread.
    • And here's the Facebook page of that pedestrian you just ran over.

      for gods sake somebody mod parent up to 5

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      And here's the Facebook page of that pedestrian you just ran over.

      Had I known beforehand he had had a Facebook page, I would have mashed the accelerator to the floor.

    • The modern version of that old Looney Tunes "cars of tomorrow" short.

      "This car has a glass floor so that if you run someone over, you can see if he was a friend of yours!"

    • BRB, just got hit by a car.

    • by oztiks ( 921504 )

      This reminds me of cloud computing before it was called such. On demand computing was the term, now it's cloud ....

      Same thing here, I remember seeing this car dash 'augmented reality' on Beyond 2000 just a different name. Just goes to show how slow the car industry is at bringing out new features ...

  • by Twillerror ( 536681 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:09PM (#38688870) Homepage Journal

    Stop doing this and make my car drive itself first..thx

    Seriously I need that sort of thing like I need another whole in my head. Make my be a better car, not try to turn it into a smartphone.

    You want to augment my reality...make some sunglasses that do...make my eyes better.

    • by jeffmeden ( 135043 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:12PM (#38688928) Homepage Journal

      Another whole what in your head? Spelling and grammar correction subsystem?

    • Stop doing this and make my car drive itself first.

      I thought that between them the DARPA challenge entrants pretty much had that one sorted? Admittedly the regulatory process to get them on the roads will be long and arduous, for good reason (for once), but the tech's looking good.

      • by ColdWetDog ( 752185 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:32PM (#38689288) Homepage

        I thought that between them the DARPA challenge entrants pretty much had that one sorted? Admittedly the regulatory process to get them on the roads will be long and arduous, for good reason (for once), but the tech's looking good.

        Right. The tech is all settled out, just like Thorium Cycle Reactors, holographic storage and hydrogen powered cars. A few prototypes do not an entire technological infrastructure make. It's going to be a long time before you can cruise down the Freeway maxed out on Ecstasy and Caffeine, mindlessly updating your Facebook page and Twittering about the asshole in front of you.

        Oh. Wait.

    • by plopez ( 54068 )

      As I pointed out in another post, why not take a bus?

      • Because the bus is expensive and doesn't necessarily always run ontime or otherwise. Before I quit the job before last I had to be downtown early on Sunday mornings and the bus wasn't running at that time of day. I would have to either show up at work like 2 hours early or find some other mode of transportation.

        Also, for the cost of the bus around here one could drive a motorcycled. And also fuck them for the cost. In the time it took the rate to go from 85 cents to $2.50 for adults during peak hours, the r

        • by yog ( 19073 ) *

          Buses are safer to ride in than cars. So if you add in the value of your life, a bus is a tremendous bargain. For $2.50 a ride, you're buying much greater chances of getting there alive, albeit more slowly and inconveniently.

          What's more, buses are in fact vastly more economical modes of transport than are cars. If you commute, say, 10 miles to work every day, you're probably burning about a gallon a day, maybe less, maybe more depending on your vehicle and stop-and-go patterns. So you're spending about $

          • by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland&yahoo,com> on Friday January 13, 2012 @05:59PM (#38691968) Homepage Journal

            You really had to stretch t make the 2.50 sound like a deal.

            More likely to get sick, robbed, injured or delayed on a bus. So if you value your health, you would never ride a Bus, hell you are paying 2.50 to have people make you sick.

            Funny, I drive 12 miles to work. If gas break 4.50, and bus fair doesn't go up, I would break even. Yes, that include maintenance. and the INCLUDE my work paying a percentage of the fair.
            I also have the perk of getting to work in 15 minute instead of 90 minutes.

            "But your car also requires thousands of dollars a year of insurance, " what are you, a manic? insurance for 2 vehicles cast my just under 1000 dollars. and since I can't take the bus everywhere, I would STILL have to pay this.

            How much do you thin it cost to maintain a vehicle? I spend 100 dollars on maintenance last year. This year I will hit 100K miles. So it will be and addition 450 dollars. Unless I do it myself.

            ". Probably maintenance will be minimal in the first year or so, but averaged over 8-10 years you'll be spending between $500 and $1000 a year to fix stuff,"
            WTF? have you ever owned a car? I have two cars, both bought in 2001. I have had 1(one) expensive incident, and that was because the mechanic put the wrong fluid in the transmission. Maybe that's the benefit of buying American, reliability is outstanding.

            " and plus all that collision insurance which is much higher at first, "
            no it isn't.

            "When you spend $20 to replace your wipers, that's several bus rides right there.
            I replace my wipers about every 3 years. They cost 8 bucks.

            " Whereas, as a bus passenger, you can read, surf over 3G, or sleep, "
            When I take the bus, it's packed full of people who can't afford a car, standing room only, and the jostling make it nearly impossible to read. And I would not sleep on a bus, even if I could.
            It doesn't mater, because the bus turns my 15 minute drive into a 90 minute ride. So I have and extra 2.5 hours to do stuff.

            AS a side note, when gas was high, they raise the fair, but when the gas price lowered they didn't lower the fair. Then the next time gas spike to the same spot as the previous spike, they raised the fare, and blamed gas prices. Again they didn't lower it when gas price went down.

            Since I have a car made the millenium, I get over 20 miles to the gallon.

      • by Belial6 ( 794905 )
        Because buses are uncomfortable, slow, expensive, don't go where I need to be, can't carry the things I need to carry, don't run when I need them to run, are unreliable, and create single points of failure for the routes they take.

        Each one of those individually is a deal breaker. Buses are fine as long as you keep in mind that they are a niche form of transportation.
        • I don't know if I'd go that far - buses are a pretty great form of transportation - just not for how American cities are laid out (or for the amount of walking us lardy Americans are willing to do ;) ). That said... I don't ride the bus.
    • by antdude ( 79039 )

      Yeah, make it like KITT!!!!

  • Yes, that's exactly what's needed in the modern car: more distractions, and reasons to let go of the steering wheel and take your eyes off the road so you can watch that restaurant as you wave your hands at it as you drive by...
    • As Jay Leno quipped years ago, when WAP was making it possible to show pr0n on your cell phone:

      "I was hoping to keep at least ONE hand on the wheel".

      We'll be hoping to keep at least one EYE on the road pretty soon. Like I need to know when that bridge up ahead was built. Sheesh.

    • I doubt it. a HUD isn't likely to allow you to take your eyes off the road any more than the current system does. In fact it's likely to keep your eyes on the road as the legitimate functions that would take your eyes off the road could be integrated into the display. The main thing that takes my eye off the road is the speedometer and checking my mirrors. The mirrors aren't likely to get any help from a HUD, but the speedometer is.

  • by monzie ( 729782 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:14PM (#38688964) Homepage
    Driving is sometimes a pleasure and often a pain. However it demands focus and attention for your safety and for others on the road.
    Quoting the article- "Simply point your hand at them, and the icons open to show real-time information: when that bridge over there was built, what band is playing at that nightclub on the left,"
    This might be entertainment for the people sitting in the backseat - it might even be informative for kids.
    This would definitely be a major nuisance for me if I were driving. Don't get me wrong – I am not against technology – but I also believe that there are some places where technology can be a hindrance and IMO this is one of them.
  • Make life more complicated to peddle more shit to us so that we can work more to pay them off, instead of simplifying it and saving everyone's time and resources by better mass transportation.

    i hear people are going to their jobs in paris by boarding the fast trains from bordeaux ffs. in usa, you can just get to your job from your house in the same time length.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Belial6 ( 794905 )
      Since advocates for mass transportation refuse to even acknowledge many of it's deal breaking flaws, I don't expect that those flaws will get fixed, and thus mass transit will never be the preferred method of transportation. Mass transit has been a world wide failure. The success stories that people trot out are the few cases where mass transit has cherry picked locations. Even then it generally fails compared to a well designed and maintained road for private transportation.
      • please (Score:4, Insightful)

        by unity100 ( 970058 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @05:26PM (#38691634) Homepage Journal

        Mass transit has been a world wide failure

        keep such american bullshit in america.

        100 million people are using mass transit comfortably and safely in japan. many more, in europe. in europe, the standards for mass transportation varies depending on country, but in japan, there is no such variance. fast trains are a feature of life there. even in germany, where 200 km/h heavy luxury cars and a culture of expensive highways are present, mass transportation is much more convenient as long as there is a mass transport reaching the destination you want.

        dont pose shitty opinions as facts or statements next time. or, keep them in america. it is stupid to drive to a destination by going through all the hassles and effort instead of arriving there by swinging your arms about as if in your back garden with a mass transport vehicle. it is you americans' fault that you let mass transportation to be neglected, and your metros, undergrounds have became hellholes of crime and shit. and dont even get me started on amtrak.

  • Based on the headline "augmented reality," I assumed it would be used for things like highlighting on the windshield pedestrians with a bright outline, given that pedestrians are invisible to drivers since they are thin and vertical in a visual field cluttered with thin and vertical poles. Little did I know it was just a HUD for Q codes.

  • What we need is smarter cars not more "Stuff" going on in the windshield. (besides KITT would have hacked into the restaurant and gotten you that reservation before you got within 2 blocks of it).

  • . . . "augmented reality" would be too much for them to handle.

    Unfortunately, they won't notice it until things go "crash!"

    And then claim that it was the car's fault.

  • A likely story. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mosb1000 ( 710161 ) <> on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:28PM (#38689232)

    Car manufacturers aren't exactly known for making good user interfaces (apart from the vehicle's primary controls).

    • by peter303 ( 12292 )
      It took several decades to get the primary controls right. Remember those silent film jokes about the starting cranking wacking you in the the butt?
  • by awtbfb ( 586638 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:33PM (#38689304)

    In reality, the auto companies and their partners in university labs have been doing work research on HUDs for a while. The augmented reality approach has been tried in research studies as a result of successes in the aviation community. However, there are huge differences between augmented reality for cars when comparing to planes and pedestrians. The point of this post is not that HUDs are bad or unlikely to succeed, but rather that the designers of trade show concepts are ignoring much of the existing research. The concepts in TFA are unlikely to be used for actual products due to safety issues. Expect simpler HUDs focused on safety oriented problems. Here are some of the safety problems:

    First, cars tend to hit things quicker. This is a crude point about recovery time, but a major one.

    Second, there is considerably more variation in scene brightness due to driving speeds and local factors like buildings and trees. This leads to challenges perceiving the HUD imagery. Demos on trade show floors and labs usually gloss over this factor.

    Perhaps the biggest concern is that there humans have perception errors due to the way our brains integrate augmented reality with the real world. First is the issue of cognitive capture. This is when you ignore the real world and just use the HUD for your information. For example, the collision warning system may highlight all the moving vehicles, so you learn to just look for the highlighting. Unlike a video game where every object is known, automotive sensing doesn't work 100% and objects will be missed. Cognitive capture is when you fail to perceive the kid running into the middle of the street because he wasn't highlighted. This can be demonstrated easily in the lab and many studies have concrete evidence of this.

    The second perception problem is that HUDs can lead to misperception of distance. A HUD can only have one focal length while the real world has an infinite amount. Mismatches can lead to the driver misinterpreting the distance of an object. This isn't a problem when flying (everything is at optical infinity) or walking (you're moving to slow), but can cause problems when driving.

    The third perception problem is masking. This is when the information about the new cafe covers the pedestrian crossing the street.

    If your organization has access to this paper [], it is an excellent primer on the issues. And yes, it was written in 1997.

    • by jafac ( 1449 )

      The fourth problem is that fighter pilots are generally selected from a subset of our population of individuals who are on the near-perfect end of the spectrum of human vision.

      The same is not nearly so for those who are selected to drive automobiles. :(

      • Moreso than that, pilots go through an extraordinary amount of training compared to drivers. How many drivers do you know have actually taken a driving course?
  • Simply put, insurance companies and government regulators won't allow these kinds of systems to come into play any time soon due to good old risk aversion. Until cars can drive themselves reliably and the operator is downgraded to passenger...this kind of system simply is not well received outside of the circles of auto manufacturers and computer companies looking for something different.

    With the number of jurisdictions that are bringing in laws against distracted driving, I think this is already a dead po

    • I agree, but it's not just the insurance companies. I simply refuse to buy a car with this crap. I need an MP3 socket for my iPod and that's it. If it means I have to buy a 2012 car and run it for 20 years, so be it.
  • by gstoddart ( 321705 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @02:52PM (#38689602) Homepage

    Simply point your hand at them, and the icons open to show real-time information: when that bridge over there was built, what band is playing at that nightclub on the left, whether that new cafe up the street has any tables available. Wave your hand again, and you've made a restaurant reservation

    I don't want that crap while I'm driving ... I want to know my route, if there's construction delays, if there's been an accident up ahead ... you know, stuff pertinent to the actual act of driving a motor vehicle.

    If you start giving the average driver this kind of crap, you're going to get more road hazards as someone idiot is waving his hand at his windshield trying to pre-order a double, skinny, tall, machiato with extra foam before he gets to Starbucks (and, no, I don't care if any of those words actually apply to Starbucks) ... from what I can tell, most drivers can barely focus on the act of driving, they don't need their car to be some information/entertainment hub.

    With more places moving ahead with distracted driving laws, do car companies really want to be putting in this kind of stuff? This just sounds really dangerous and stupid to me.

    Sure, in-car GPS is a huge boost to driving ... but looking up when a bridge was constructed or making restaurant reservations? Sorry, but that's not something you should be doing while driving.

  • by realisticradical ( 969181 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @03:05PM (#38689824) Homepage
    I don't want info about bridges and stores. How about it shows the speed of the other cars on the road? Or just some sort of indicator that I'm too close to the car in front of me to stop in time if he slams on his brakes. I'm sure there's plenty of other information that could assist my driving as long as it's displayed as unobtrusively as possible. Distracted driving already causes plenty of accidents.
    • ...we don't need an interactive HUD to tell people they're following too damn close. Simple sonar or laser-based detector to measure your following distance and a nice, loud, annoying buzzer would do the trick. Might have to write my congressdude.
  • "when that bridge over there was built" -- if your passenger told you that, you'd consider it the most boring fact possible, and you'd give them the finger.

    "what band is playing at that nightclub on the left" -- because I'm going to drive around town for hours waiting for my car to name a band I've heard of? Not quite. I'm going to sit still, and decide which night club to go to. I'm not going to pull over on my way to a movie and instead go to a nightclub.

    "whether that new café up the street has an

    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      "nd you'd give them the finger."
      no every is is a rude SOB who only talks abut inane things.

      " I'm not going to pull over on my way to a movie and instead go to a nightclub."
      so you are on the way to the cinema, and your car tells you your favorite band is playing a 1 night only gig 3 blocks away.
      Would you still go to the movie, or would you change plans?

      You will be completely connected. You will get into your car, it will communicate with your smart devices, it will know your preferences, it will know your fa

      • exactly, so they wouldn't talk to me about the bridge. that was my point.

        you'd want me to cancel my movie tickets, tell my friends to go to hell, and go see my favourite band, so much my favourite that I didn't even know they were in town in the first place?

        I didn't get into the car before buying tickets to the movie, I didn't get into the car having no idea where I was going.

        if your friend doesn't have a phone, he won't have a smart car either.

        restaurants don't have cooks that don't show up. movies shou

  • by wbr1 ( 2538558 ) on Friday January 13, 2012 @03:08PM (#38689876)
    Input:Point at car that just cut me off
    Output: Home and work address, mobile number, and hack my way into his GPS instructions.
    • by geekoid ( 135745 )

      I wrote that app, in '97

      It cross indexed licenses plate information with white pages information. Both set were public information at the time.

      It went on a laptop, and it worked great. we would drive around, randomly pick a license plate and get the person phone number and usually an address.
      I could have made a couple of million. But I decided the bad things would out weigh the good, so I shelved it. Sometime, when I am trying to figure out how I am going to pay for my kids college, I wish I had sold the pr

  • I don't really care about gadgets with exception of two-way radios (which are all user add-ons). My gripe is I hate the trends of car designs particularly shorter windows. I recently drove a new Acura (loaner while my older one was in for repair), it was scary. So many blind spots and reduced peripheral vision. It was like driving a bus or large truck, I had to constantly be aware of others approaching from behind. With a smaller car, you can quickly look to know surroundings before changing lanes especial

  • We need fully automated driving, so the vehicle occupant can concentrate on their web surfing, TV watching, game playing, and communications tasks. Really. Automated driving is already probably better than the bottom 20% of drivers, the ones who have most of the accidents.

    It should be mandatory that if a car has any "infomatics" stuff that requires user attention, beyond a map display and music player, it has to also have, as a minimum, anti-collision radar tied to the brakes. (Some high-end cars alread

  • Sounds illegal but what the hell...give me augmented reality over real reality any day!

  • Reality #1) Population is exploding, especially in urban areas -- population density is increasing, and roads are not getting any better, in fact, they are getting worse.

    Reality #2) There's no money to fix or improve roads, government spending is being cut like crazy, and on state and local levels, everyone is bankrupt, so there will be no improvements to roads or to public transit systems.

    This will lead to greater and greater traffic snarls, especially during mass migration periods (i.e. Rush hour, holiday

  • I'd rather glance at dashboard displays surrounding the windshield, so I don't have to move my head to see them through the steering wheel. If the car also had 360 cameras to drop the borders display to reveal anything detected traveling towards the car's cabin that the displays would block, the displays would only add to the safety. In fact such a feature would highlight moving risks, overall much safer than just the current windshield/dashboard config.

    And put all driver controls on the steering wheel, sho

Money is better than poverty, if only for financial reasons.