Automotive HUD Research: AR HUD is largely mounted on vehicles, and local vendors are leading the way. 1. AR HUD is widely used, with 35,000 vehicles equipped in the first half of 2022.
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Since 2021, AR HUD has been installed in several new vehicle models, including Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Hongqi E-HS9, Great Wall Mocha, Geely Xingyue L, Volkswagen ID Series, GAC Trumpchi GS8, BAIC Mofang and Rising R7.
According to ResearchInChina, in the first half of 2021, 603,000 new passenger cars in China were equipped with HUD (C/W/AR), a similar increase of 36.2%, including 35,000 AR-HUD packaged units, sharing 5.8% of the total, up 5.0 percentage points from the prior year period.
From the monthly trend, it can be seen that AR HUD installs have increased since mass production in early 2021 and started increasing in April 2022 after first surpassing C-HUD in August 2021 .
2. PGU becomes the key technology to realize the mass production of AR HUD.
Currently, although many OEMs have released AR HUD compatible models, almost all of them are testing the water on a small scale. In terms of wide adoption, issues such as image distortion, sunlight inversion, high cost and large size have not yet been solved. As the core component of AR HUD, PGU has become the key solution to the above problems.
There are four PGU technologies: TFT-LCD, DLP, LCOS and Laser Scanning Projection (LSP). In this case, TFT-LCD and DLP are the mainstream solutions used in current AR HUD-enabled production vehicle models in China. Volkswagen ID Series, Hongqi E-HS9 and WEY Mocha, among others, are all equipped with TFT-LCD solutions. The DLP technology monopolized by TI offers good imaging effects but the cost is high. Applied models include Mercedes-Benz S-Class and 2nd generation GAC Trumpchi GS8.
LCOS offering high resolution has made its way into the market in recent years. Typical vendors include Envisics, Huawei, ASU Tech, and Hardstone. SAIC Rising R7 released in May 2022 carries the LCOS-based AR HUD created by Huawei. The HUD offers a field of view of 13°*5°, a luminance of 12,000 nits and a resolution of up to 1920×730.
MEMS Laser Scanning Projection (LSP) is also an R&D direction for some companies like Panasonic, Pioneer and Shenzhen Dianshi Innovation Technology. In 2022, the dual vision laser holographic AR HUD jointly developed by Panasonic and Envisics will be fitted to the Cadillac LYRIQ for the first time. With two projection display areas, far and near, the system can display real scene markers at the destination, real scene navigation, forward collision warning and lane change control.
3. Local suppliers like Foryou lead the mass production of AR HUD.
Growing OEM demand for AR HUD is accelerating technology iteration and product release by vendors. As a result, local Chinese suppliers like Foryou Multimedia have obtained several mass production orders.
Foryou Multimedia is a HUD leader in China. As of June 2022, the company has shipped a total of over 560,000 units, with customers including Great Wall Motor, Changan Automobile, GAC, BAIC, Chery and Vietnam’s VINFAST. At the end of June 2022, it signed a letter of intent with Huawei on deep strategic cooperation on smart vehicle accessories, especially AR HUD.
Foryou Multimedia is also accelerating its new product iteration pace, having launched the AR HUD Bifocal Plane and AR HUD Oblique Projection. Currently, the AR HUD bifocal plane has been designated by Great Wall Motor, and the AR HUD oblique projection has been a background cooperative project of many automakers.
Zhejiang Crystal-Optech has partnered with a number of OEMs to develop HUDs and is working to mass-produce and market these products. Its AR HUD was produced in small quantities for Hongqi E-HS9 in March 2021, and was applied to Changan Deep Blue SL03 in July 2022. During the second half of 2022, Crystal-Optech is to supply HUDs including WHUD and AR HUD , for some models from Hongqi, Changan Automobile, BYD and Great Wall Motor.
4. AR HUD will be integrated with multiple vehicle systems.
AR HUD has become a new window for human-vehicle interaction, which comes with the evolution of intelligent driving to L2+. It will be integrated with multiple systems, from dashboard, navigation and ADAS to DMS, infotainment and V2X.
In January 2021, Qualcomm announced its 4th Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform, a digital cockpit solution that supports multi-ECU and multi-domain fusion, spanning dashboard and cockpit, AR -HUD, infotainment, rear seat display, electronic rearview mirror and in-vehicle monitoring. The system will first be available for cars from JIDU Auto and is expected to be mass-produced and delivered in 2023.
At CES 2022, Harman showed off its AR HUD technology, which combines AR vision with the voice assistant that helps recommend nearby points of interest. This technology can intelligently activate the autonomous driving mode, or allow the driver as an AR avatar to have a meeting with colleagues. In February 2022, HARMAN acquired Apostera, with the aim of using Apostera’s augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) software solutions to solidify its leadership position in the automotive AR/MR space. Prior to this, Apostera provided AR HUD technical support for the Audi Q4 e-tron.
At CES 2022, Panasonic unveiled its AR HUD 2.0 system. Powered by Panasonic’s SkipGen2, its eCockpit infotainment controller, AR HUD 2.0 adds Eye Tracking System (ETS), a patented technology that enables automatic driver height adjustment, dynamic parallax compensation, dynamic auto point and driver monitoring capability. “The Panasonic AR HUD 2.0 continues the trend of integrating display domains, such as Cluster and HUD, into the central infotainment computing module,” said Andrew Poliak, CTO, Panasonic Automotive Systems Company of America.
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