New navigation system turns driver’s seat into cockpit
TOKYO, May 15 — Japan’s Pioneer Corp has unveiled a state-of-the-art car navigation system that is the first in the world to project augmented reality information on the windscreen in front of the driver’s eyes.
The technology has been introduced into the head-up display units incorporated into the cockpits of the most modern fighter aircraft, but has never before been attempted in a car.
The satellite system, which will go on the market in Japan in late July with a price tag of between Y230,000 (RM8,900) and Y300,000, displays instructions and maps on a translucent plastic board between the screen and the driver’s seat.
Pioneer describes the Cyber Navi Car Navigation system as the first “real” in-car guidance device to show the route as it actually is. The system involves the installation of a camera into the windshield of the car that sends real-time footage of the road and the surroundings to the computer.
It is also able to analyse details of the route, such as traffic light changes, shops, offices and other key landmarks, as well as determining the difference between the car and other surrounding vehicles.
The first in-car navigation systems began to appear in the 1980s, with Honda claiming to be the first to release a device that would be considered rudimentary by today’s standards. Mitsubishi Electric and Pioneer both claim to be the first to release GPS-based auto navigation systems, in 1990, but again the advances since then have been huge.
Many systems are now able to receive and display information on traffic congestion and suggest alternative routes, while others provide information on restaurants, garages and banks. Some systems can also be removed from the car and used as a hand-held GPS device.
Pioneer’s latest system takes the technology a step further, with the full-colour image that overlays the real scenery outside the windows enabling the driver to track information instantaneously, while at the same time reducing eye movement and the need to refocus. — AFP-Relaxnews