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GM Invests in Startup Recreating the Head-up Display

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The head-up display in the 2019 GMC Sierra Denali.
The head-up display in the GMC Sierra Denali
Photo: General Motors

Envisics is a startup that’s working on re-creating head-up display and adding augmented reality to the system. GM Ventures and other companies have invested a total of $50 million in the startup so far and plan to implement the new display in upcoming vehicles.

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How does the current head-up display work?

2019 Chevrolet Suburban head-up display
The Chevrolet Suburban with a head-up display
Photo: General Motors

General Motors first introduced head-up display in 1988 and now offers it as an available feature on many models. The technology places important vehicle information onto the windshield directly in front of the driver’s seat, making it so you don’t have to look away from the road in order to stay up to date on information.

One issue with the current display is that your eyes need to readjust each time they focus on the driving information. In the time it takes for them to readjust, you may miss something happening on the road ahead.

What does the Envisics system improve?

The Envisics head-up display still projects speed, safety alerts, turn signals, and other data in front of the driver’s seat. However, this technology also creates a 3D image, projecting pedestrian and navigation alerts where they’re most relevant on the windshield.

The information can appear anywhere from 20 to 130 meters in front of the car, giving the illusion that it’s right on the road. The system can even brighten up lane markings at night and illuminate hazards ahead of the car.

The head-up display shows data in brighter colors and higher resolution than the traditional system. Despite providing better quality images and increasing situational awareness, the new display utilizes less power than the current display.

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GM plans to add the first production program of the Envisics system to the upcoming Cadillac Lyriq and other electric vehicles in the near future.