It's certainly not the first demo we've seen of a windshield HUD system that incorporates navigation and other info so a driver can keep their eyes on the road. But it is the first from Pioneer, a company with the automotive experience to finally make a system like this a reality.
Using red, green, and blue lasers for high contrast and deep color saturation, Pioneer's HUD creates what looks to the driver like a nineteen inch display, sitting about five feet in front of them. At 720x280 the resolution of the projection isn't quite even NTSC, but the convenience of having navigation info like speed, ETA and even directional arrows front and center, so you don't have to take your eyes off the road, far outweighs that shortcoming. Because it will be an aftermarket product, the HUD's projector clips to the driver's sun visor, which sounds a little clunky to us. But it makes production and retrofitting the system to any vehicle already on the road far more practical. Which is important since Pioneer plans to take the HUD past the tech demo stage and into "volume production" by next year. [TechOn]