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Augmented Reality in Enhancing Car Navigation Systems

Augmented reality (AR) allows users to overlay digital information over a real view. AR is a key technology in autonomous cars, and car navigation systems were among the first places where it has been adopted.

AR in car navigation solutions give drivers a heads-up display to follow directions without looking down at dashboard controls or mobile device screens. Here are some of the more innovative uses for AR car navigation:

Real-time Directions

GPS navigation systems have become incredibly popular among tourists on road trips as well as executive business travelers, yet to use one, drivers must glance down at dashboard controls or center consoles or their phone screens in order to follow directions – taking their eyes away from the road and potentially leading to accidents.

Augmented reality solutions offer an innovative solution, using real-time information and layering it directly onto a vehicle display. An outstanding post-market example is Phiar’s AR car showroom application which displays important data about each car in a dealership lot without impeding on driver visibility or necessitating additional glasses or headsets for viewing the road.

Sygic offers an AR navigation solution that utilizes vehicle cameras with augmented reality. The app scans the environment and compares it with digital maps stored on its device to ensure navigation markers appear at their correct locations, as well as providing users with an overview of their current position and routes to help them arrive quickly at their destinations.

Live Traffic Alerts

Car manufacturers now provide AR-enabled navigation solutions that use Augmented Reality to display information such as speed, location and direction directly on their windshield. This technology resembles head-up displays (HUD) used in fighter jets but made its debut into high-end cars during the 1990s.

HUD systems use virtual elements overlaid on real-world views, with sensors used to identify and track objects. As senior interaction designer Paul Schouten of TomTom points out, it is critical that they correctly detect real-world obstacles without obscuring or covering them up, otherwise this could distract drivers or put them into dangerous positions.

Some AR systems take things one step further by employing depth cues to differentiate between real-world objects and virtual ones, which enables it to recognize when someone crosses the road for example – helping drivers reduce cognitive load by eliminating need to translate abstract information from screen into the world around them.

Pedestrian Detection

Augmented reality can help prevent serious accidents. It could help drivers avoid collisions with pedestrians, other vehicles and roadside hazards; as well as aid them when weather or visibility restrictions limit visibility.

AR can make navigation systems simpler in unfamiliar or remote environments. Instead of looking down at charts, radar or AIS displays before looking back up at real world context to place information into context manually, AR automatically transforms 2D information into 3D guidance that reduces effort required and error rates.

Experimental evidence has demonstrated how AR cues can increase driver awareness of pedestrians by heightening perception level (visual perception), vigilance level (alertness) and anticipation level (anticipation of pedestrian crossing). As a result, these changes lead to safer driving behavior which ultimately decreases accidents significantly – this approach may be adopted into existing pedestrian collision warning systems for wider implementation.

Object Recognition

TomTom Senior Interaction Designer Paul Schouten notes that to ensure successful AR navigation in cars, prioritizing and organizing information displayed to drivers must take place effectively. Recognizable virtual elements should also include depth cues to delineate them from real world objects that may obstruct vision – something which must remain distinct between real world objects and virtual elements according to TomTom Senior Interaction Designer Paul Schouten.

Janciga stresses that technology must also work effectively under various weather conditions, including intense sunlight. Furthermore, virtual elements must be visible when projected onto light sources like windshield projectors and center displays for easy viewing by visitors.

Augmented reality layers computer graphics over video footage from the real world, enabling users to more easily locate the correct turn, learn about buildings they drive by or drop a big red map pin at their destination. Augmented reality eliminates the need to glance down at dashboard controls or mobile devices in order to interpret this information – an act which could potentially result in accidents and distracted driving if done in this fashion. Furthermore, AR provides drivers with a more intuitive view of their surroundings than 2D displays such as radar and electronic chart display information system (ECDIS).