January 6, 2022 – This week at CES 2022, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America has unveiled its Augmented Reality HUD (AR HUD) 2.0, which includes a new patented eye tracking system (ETS) that enhances the AR experience.
Powered by Panasonic’s SkipGen2, the company’s eCockpit infotainment controller, AR HUD 2.0 with patented ETS leverages Panasonic’s advanced optics. The proprietary innovation is enabled by an IR camera packaged with the AR HUD projector and optics, which according to Panasonic eliminates the need for a standalone driver-facing camera. ETS recognizes the driver’s line of sight and optimizes the AR imagery for clarity and accuracy creating a more intuitive and pleasant experience.
“The Panasonic AR HUD 2.0 continues the trend of up-integration of display domains, such as Cluster and HUD, into the central infotainment compute module,” said Andrew Poliak, CTO, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America. “By integrating our proprietary eye tracking technology into the AR HUD we can improve fidelity of images in the driver’s field of view by knowing precisely where the driver is looking then matching and focusing the AR images to the real world much more precisely.”
Specifically, the ETS technology identifies the individual driver’s height and head movement behind the wheel and dynamically adjusts and compensates the images in the “eyebox.” Drivers are constantly shifting their head and changing their line of sight, but with parallax alignment and dynamic autofocus working together, Panasonic states that its system will mean that drivers will only see accurately positioned, high-resolution overlays and icons. The driver’s experience is powered by AI navigation software which matches the changing environment with AR overlays and icons, helping to providing a more intuitive awareness of situations and the surrounding environment.
Panasonic AR HUD 2.5D features include:
- AI powered navigation software with 3D AR overlays, icons, and mapping;
- DLP for crisp, high resolution images and icons; and
- Simulated 3D using a tilted, dual image plane providing 3D at the cost of 2D;
The company’s patented, newly updated eye tracking (ETS) enables:
- Automatic driver height adjustment;
- Parallax compensation (to properly align AR icons in a driver’s optical path);
- Dynamic auto focus (to account for shifting driver eyebox positioning); and
- Driver monitoring capability (to identify and monitor a driver’s state).
By placing the IR camera within the AR HUD, Panasonic states that it eliminates the need to package a standalone driver monitoring camera. The IR camera also supports driver identification and other driver monitoring features like detecting drowsiness, impairment, and distraction.
Panasonic Automotive first announced its AR HUD at CES 2021 last year. Prior to that, in November 2020 the company announced a collaboration with Phiar Technologies, developers of a spatial-AI technology and automotive AR navigation platform, to expand driver safety and navigation support in its automotive solutions. For more information about Panasonic’s AR HUD 2.0 please click here.
Image / video credit: Panasonic / YouTube
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Sam is the Founder and Managing Editor of Auganix. With a background in research and report writing, he has been covering XR industry news for the past five years.