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New Car Heads-Up Display To Be Controlled By Hand Gestures, Voice Commands

timothy posted about a month ago | from the don't-take-that-call dept.

GUI 142

Lucas123 (935744) writes "A new company has just opened a crowdsourcing campaign for a heads-up display that plugs into your car's OBD II port and works with iPhones and Android OS-enabled mobile devices via Bluetooth to project a 5.1-in transparent screen that appears to float six feet in front of the windshield. The HUD, called Navdy, works with navigation apps such as Google Maps for turn-by-turn directions, and music apps such as Spotify, Pandora, iTunes Music and Google Play Music. Using voice commands via Apple's Siri or Google Voice, the HUD can also write, read aloud or display notifications from text messages or social media apps, such as Twitter. Phone calls, texting or other applications can also be controlled with hand gestures enabled by an infrared camera."

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Floaters in the toilet (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622275)

Don't want to go down with the flush - morning beer scuds.

What a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622279)

That's not a front page on 100 news sites horrific accident waiting to happen.

Re:What a great idea (3, Insightful)

PrescriptionWarning (932687) | about a month ago | (#47622373)

Yeah it does seem like a bad idea to be watching videos while driv.... Ooh cute kittens dancing must watch LIKE LIKE LIKE!!!

Re:What a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623065)

Since app has access to google maps it culd prevent messages from popping up when approaching crosswalk, intersection or sharp turn.

Re:What a great idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623843)

Well, then it's totally okay to watch videos while driving!

Re:What a great idea (2)

Aighearach (97333) | about a month ago | (#47625041)

Crowd sourced or not, it is illegal in most states and subject to being seized, in addition to the driver being cited. Simply turning it on is often illegal, even if you only use the navigation functions, because these kind of devices require being locked out when in motion, except for backup and instrubment video. Many states it is illegal just to drive with it installed, even if never turned on.

http://www.ce.org/Consumer-Inf... [ce.org]

Re:What a great idea (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | about a month ago | (#47623851)

What about people with siezures or other uncontolable ticks?

For everyone with.... (1)

thieh (3654731) | about a month ago | (#47622297)

...speech impediment or weird accents or sore throat, please start by using the hand gesture "shoving a giant middle finger into the dashboard".

Re:For everyone with.... (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about a month ago | (#47624499)

"Weird accents" like anything that isn't Received Pronunciation British or American English?

Universal gesture (1)

deodiaus2 (980169) | about a month ago | (#47622309)

Years ago, in "National Lampoon," they had all the country's gestures for FY. Starting from the American middle finger to the Italian right arm scooping up cradled in the left arm.

Re:Universal gesture (1)

dpilot (134227) | about a month ago | (#47622957)

As long as the guesture input subsystem isn't connected to the in-car weapons subsystem.

Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (4, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | about a month ago | (#47622319)

If a display is not integrated into the car itself, and in particular where the *sole* purpose of a display should be to assist in driving the car safely, then it's going to be considered a distraction from driving, and therefore not going to be legal to use while driving.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

thieh (3654731) | about a month ago | (#47622353)

Then comes the hand gesture "Oh no you didn't" which will make the device play the legal justifications in the voice that is used by the GPS and other things.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | about a month ago | (#47622403)

Just because a display is integrated into the car itself doesn't make it any less of a distraction from driving. Anything that requires you to take your eyes off the roads to look down and to your right distracts you.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622471)

Not to mention taking your hands off the wheel in order to make hand gestures, FFS.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

cream wobbly (1102689) | about a month ago | (#47624521)

I already make hand gestures while driving.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (2)

mark-t (151149) | about a month ago | (#47622633)

HUD's don't require you to take your eyes off the road. Also, really they aren't a distraction from driving when their purpose is to actually assist in operating the vehicle safely. In many cases, that's going to only be largely redundant data that can also be presented on the dashboard right in front of the driver, or presented to the driver as an audible warning, if applicable, but there are certainly exceptions that may have shades of augmented reality. The problem with this device is not so much its lack of integration with the vehicle, it is that using social media or music applications isn't relevant to driving, so any display pursuant to those purposes is going to be a distraction from driving... and it's difficult to control the purpose of devices that are *not* integrated with the vehicle.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | about a month ago | (#47623111)

HUD's don't require you to take your eyes off the road.

Ideally, no. In practice, IME we aren't quite there yet: the focal distance for current in-car HUDs still tends to be significantly shorter than where a driver should normally be looking. However, it's still interesting to consider whether even the HUDs we have available today are an improvement on static instrument consoles, where the driver also has to look down/over, as well as changing focus to an even closer range.

Hopefully it goes without saying that using this kind of technology to display anything that isn't immediately relevant to driving (such as the notifications shown on their site right now) is crazy.

However, in a few years, I can imagine that navigation systems will use a combination of eye-tracking and HUD technology to skip the stylised graphics we use today and just highlight the required driving line directly on the road ahead. My other big wish for this kind of technology is enhancements for when visibility is poor: think night vision/IR with additional highlights on hazards such as a car ahead slowing down sharply or a pedestrian moving toward the road. Those kinds of qualitative improvements in driver awareness could save a lot of lives and a lot of time, not to mention the general frustration that sometimes comes with driving in unfamiliar places today.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a month ago | (#47623485)

Ideally, no. In practice, IME we aren't quite there yet: the focal distance for current in-car HUDs still tends to be significantly shorter than where a driver should normally be looking.

Of course, and it is why HUDs should probably not have information that requires actually focussing on the windshield, which means no textual presentation of any kind... the only things that it should visually present to the user are iconographs that can be easily recognized even when you are not focussiing on them.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about a month ago | (#47625035)

It would be interesting to see if technology using lasers similar to that in red-dot scopes would be effective. OTOH, astigmatism can make that a poor option for many.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (2)

internerdj (1319281) | about a month ago | (#47625435)

I've done some work with human factors evaluation of HUDs for aircraft. Some information just needs to be text. It takes a bit longer to process but it is better to have critical text available near the field of view and refocus than to have to hunt for it at my knees and lose my reaction time. BTW, a well designed HUD isn't in focus at the optic. It looks like this one is focused a bit in front of the vehicle. A really nice one will be focused at pseudoinfinity and is mostly in focus anywhere you look.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about a month ago | (#47625091)

Even if the focal distance is the same, you're still taking your eyes off the road by moving your focus to a non-road object. There is more to vision that just where the lens is focused.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

BobMcD (601576) | about a month ago | (#47625907)

Sort of like when you blink? Or tune the radio? Sneeze? Read a billboard?

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about a month ago | (#47626061)

Blinking does not count, no. And you'd only think it did by intentionally pretending you don't understand the concept, even though it is simple. That one is intellectually dishonest.

Tuning the radio, well, if you're looking at it to tune it, yes. If not, then no. Seems pretty simple. Don't really see the gray area there. I personally keep my eyes on the road and operate the radio by touch.

Reading a billboard is also very obvious. Yes, if you're reading billboards, your eyes are off the road. If you're reading road signs, then your eyes are still on the road.

Notice how easy and obvious each of those was?

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about a month ago | (#47625077)

Having your eyes "on" the road doesn't mean "in the direction of the road," it means actually having the focal point of your vision on the road. Moving your focus to words on a screen floating in your vision is exactly taking your eyes off the road .

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a month ago | (#47625217)

Only if you have to focus on words on the display. HUD's are entirely able to use largely iconographic presentations that do not require you to actually focus on the display in order to understand the information being communicated. The information density is much lower than text, but it can still be extremely informative and helpful in enhancing a driver's awareness of their surroundings.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about a month ago | (#47625645)

You're missing the point. Please re-parse, and try again. There is no difference regarding text or iconography, and what the subject of your attention is in general has nothing to do with the question of what your eyes are "on" in the phrase, "keep your eyes on the road."

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

karlandtanya (601084) | about a month ago | (#47622823)

Integrating into the vehicle implies that the mfr puts it there--not that a really good installer did a beautiful install.
It has to first pass a bunch of quality, safety, and regulatory gates before the mfr will put it in there.

Those quality and regulatory gates may not be so high as some people would like, but at least you get some input as they're negotiated among mfr's, regulators, and users. It's (generally) going to be a lot safer than whatever Bubba & Earl's Car Audio and Bait Shop orders from amazon and installs on Tuesday after Bubba gets back from his day job.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623361)

"No officer I don't know how fast I was going. Looking down and to the right at the speedometer would have caused me to be a distracted driver." - Every safe Mini Cooper [carphotosgallery.com] driver ever apparently.

Re: Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623551)

Yes, only idiots take their eyes off the road to change something. We need legislation to outlaw this and any other distraction. No more should we put up with people changing radio stations and adjusting the a/c. In fact, that legislation should include a head harness requirement that mandates always looking forward. God know humans have no ability to manage their own actions, so government needs to rescue us from our own stupidity. (Buy I guess that's pretty stupid to...)

Re: Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a month ago | (#47624307)

You don't need to take your eyes off of the road or necessarily even take either hand off of the wheel to change radio stations or control the in-car cd player, as many car radios have an extra set of controls right behind the steering wheel, and is very easy to control entirely by tactile sensation.

Re: Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled (1)

macs4all (973270) | about a month ago | (#47625789)

Yes, only idiots take their eyes off the road to change something. We need legislation to outlaw this and any other distraction. No more should we put up with people changing radio stations and adjusting the a/c. In fact, that legislation should include a head harness requirement that mandates always looking forward. God know humans have no ability to manage their own actions, so government needs to rescue us from our own stupidity. (Buy I guess that's pretty stupid to...)

There was an "invention" in MAD Magazine in the mid-1960s (the author of the "article" was the legendary Dave Berg, IIRC) that was EXACTLY that!

I would allow your head to turn, but only for a short period (the driver in question was shown ogling a busty woman walking down the sidewalk), then it snapped your head back to the "straight ahead" position (and as shown in the magazine, apparently leaving the driver's false-teeth and eyeballs behind, IIRC)...

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

mspohr (589790) | about a month ago | (#47624079)

I think the point of a HUD is that you don't have to take your eyes off the road to gather information from the dashboard, GPS, etc.
The fact that these were first developed for military and civilian pilots would seem to indicate that these are very safe displays... much safer than any other option. After all, they wouldn't be approved for aircraft use if they were distracting or unsafe.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a month ago | (#47622487)

Is this any different from a dash mount for a smartphone?

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about a month ago | (#47622709)

Is this any different from a dash mount for a smartphone?

Did you watch the video?

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

aaronb1138 (2035478) | about a month ago | (#47623861)

Let me preface that I think lawyers are a terrible scourge and sap resources from the global economy and especially in the US from the GDP.

That said, I really want to see a successful lawsuit against Kickstarter making them responsible for inherently bad / illegal products. This licensing / EULA / contracts crap that absolves the middle men of responsibility is complete garbage.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47624121)

If a display is not integrated into the car itself, and in particular where the *sole* purpose of a display should be to assist in driving the car safely, then it's going to be considered a distraction from driving, and therefore not going to be legal to use while driving.

Uh, yeah, because the *sole* purpose of that GPS/satellite radio DVD player is purely safety of course. Everyone drops the extra $3000 on the navigation option for the backup camera.

Legal has little to do with common sense. If it did, we wouldn't be killing each other by the thousands every day just by getting behind the wheel. A car is one of the most dangerous things you own.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about a month ago | (#47624281)

A DVD player or stereo does not require any kind of display to utilize. You can operate it simply by pressing buttons which you do not even necessarily have to look at, and an extra set of controls are often mounted right behind the steering wheel so you don't even have to take either hand off of the wheel to control it.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a month ago | (#47624435)

If a display is not integrated into the car itself, and in particular where the *sole* purpose of a display should be to assist in driving the car safely, then it's going to be considered a distraction from driving, and therefore not going to be legal to use while driving.

You can already buy HUDs from multiple manufacturers, and they are already legal to use while driving. OTOH, their example image on their website is an instant spam message suggesting you check out one of their videos. That's pretty horrendous.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

Aighearach (97333) | about a month ago | (#47625127)

Illegal for the intended use in most states, and illegal even to install in many.

http://www.ce.org/Consumer-Inf... [ce.org]

What *is* usually legal is one with a lock-out so that it can only do vehicle info and navigation while driving. Simply not using the other features doesn't help; it has to have a physical lockout in most states, or be mounted so that the screen is not visible to the driver.

Re:Any bets on how long before the plug is pulled? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about a month ago | (#47625805)

Illegal for the intended use in most states, and illegal even to install in many.

You can't see the screen of a HUD device, that's part of the appeal. It's a reflected image. Also, in California (most vehicles, vehicle-miles traveled, and road-miles period) there's a law but no penalty.

Um... (1)

Type44Q (1233630) | about a month ago | (#47622339)

to project a 5.1-in transparent screen that appears to float six feet in front of the windshield.

I only read TFS but... that's a bit small for that distance, isn't it? Maybe they can program it to display turn-by-turn directions one letter at a time.

Re:Um... (1)

tomhath (637240) | about a month ago | (#47622413)

It'll be okay if you stare at it intently as you make random gestures and speak to it while driving.

Re:Um... (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | about a month ago | (#47622507)

I assume they mean that it appears focussed at six feet away, but it subtends as much of your viewing angle as it currently does on the dashboard. So if it's five inches across and three feet away from your face, it looks like it's actually ten inches across and six feet away.

Re:Um... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a month ago | (#47623063)

So if it's five inches across and three feet away from your face, it looks like it's actually ten inches across and six feet away.

I see. And is this technology applicable in any other, uh, areas?

Re:Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47625463)

How can a Heads Up Display "read aloud" to you? After all, it IS a display, not a speaker! I have a HUD in my Prius, and I love it. Very useful for seeing speed and turn directions without taking my eyes off the windshield.

But I was not talking to the car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622391)

As a person of Cuban descent and therefore a person whose vocabulary is inclusive of hand gestures, I forsee mayhem.

Hand Gestures? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622399)

Is this really the best way to control something in a car? Do we really want drivers taking their hands off the steering wheels to make silly motions in space while they're driving?

I mean, maybe it'll work. Maybe it does make sense. But my initial reaction is skeptical.

Re:Hand Gestures? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622821)

This will only work if the hand gesture for "emergency stop" is the motion of raising either hand to the matching ear. Similarly, any time the system can detect both of the driver's hands moving freely independent of the steering wheel, it should turn on the blinkers, shift into neutral, and call the police.
Yes, this will allow long-armed troublemakers seated behind the driver to do some pretty mean pranking, but I think the net result will be safer roads for everyone.

Late thought: Can they have it keep track of the driver's head as well? Turning should be perfectly acceptable, but I've seen way too many times when a driver would duck under the steering wheel to find something while going over 70 mph (that's about 540kph for you metric trolls).

Re:Hand Gestures? (1)

Amtrak (2430376) | about a month ago | (#47623445)

Your prank idea sounds great... well until people figure out the old coke can for hands trick. [roadandtrack.com]

But seriously I never understood this both my hands must be on the wheel at all time crap the safe driving nazi's think about driving these days. I mean have any of you people ever driven a car with a manual transmission? I think if I can handle driving a manual I can manage to take one hand off the wheel to make a quick gesture without killing myself.

Re:Hand Gestures? (1)

bswarm (2540294) | about a month ago | (#47623611)

So what if I program it to turn off the radio by flipping the bird? And what will the cop in front of me (at a stop sign) think when he sees me flipping him off, when all I wanted to do was turn off the radio?

Re:Hand Gestures? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47624865)

In my experience, there is always an exception to the rule if you look hard enough.

Personally, I wouldn't mind a person ducking their head down to retrieve a rolling object (like a marble) which keeps sliding under their foot. I'm of course assuming that they are going to try to do it in the safest possible manner (and yes, the cards are stacked against them already, so it is a "relative" safest manner).

And if you think that a responsible driver would never have anything that could roll around in the car, generally you would be right. However, others bring all sorts of stuff into the car, and occasionally lose / leave things in the car. Think kids.

Re:Hand Gestures? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about a month ago | (#47622907)

It seems to me that a hand gesture immediately above the steering wheel is *far* preferable to reaching down to change the radio station. Your body posture doesn't change, and your hand only has to move a few inches to grab the wheel in an emergency. Let's just avoid any two-handed gestures, shall we?

Shut up and drive... (1)

dtjohnson (102237) | about a month ago | (#47622443)

Those cool features described in the TFA, like the HUD display for test messages, twitter, iTunes, etc. leads to something politely called 'distracted driving [distraction.gov] ' and less politely called 'Being an Asshole' which last year killed 3,328 people and injured 421,000. As a long-time biker, I often see the drivers working their smartphone whilst swerving through traffic and chatting up their passengers and I've damn near become one of the 421,000 (or the 3,328) more than once. Rather than provide fancy new 'heads up' displays for drivers or built-in smart phone driver docking stations for drivers with their 'heads up' their ass, we should be working on roadside electronic surveillance and longer prison sentences for the drivers who kill people while using their smartphone.

Re:Shut up and drive... (3, Interesting)

wbr1 (2538558) | about a month ago | (#47622559)

Rather than provide fancy new 'heads up' displays for drivers or built-in smart phone driver docking stations for drivers with their 'heads up' their ass, we should be working on roadside electronic surveillance and longer prison sentences for the drivers who kill people while using their smartphone.

While I agree that distraction is an issue, and solutions should be found, and I also agree that this device sounds like more distraction, longer prison terms solve nothing. Incarceration does not stop drug use, threat of life in prison does not deter murderers of bank robbers. No matter the differences in incarceration percentage or average length of incarceration, developed countries crime rates stay relatively stable. The few things being tougher on any crime does do well is break up families, provide jobs to the prison workers, and create a hated underclass that is likely to turn to crime again.

This is not to say that there should be no punishment for crime, but to say the money would likely be much better spent on proper prevention. Not more police, swat toys, and police programs, but things like education, family planning , job training, addiction recovery, even driver training, etc. For the cost of putting 2-3 people in prison for a year, a town could hire a person to do distracted driver training and testing on a closed course. All you need is an empty parking lot and some cones.

Re:Shut up and drive... (1)

DeputySpade (458056) | about a month ago | (#47623267)

threat of life in prison does not deter murderers

Bet me! Unwillingness of others to go to prison is exactly what keeps certain people alive.

Re:Shut up and drive... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47624933)

No, they've done survey after survey of prisoners about what they feared when committing their crimes. Incarceration was always way down the list. Length of incarceration was even lower. You see, a person who's about to commit a crime doesn't do it with the intention of getting caught, and since they control the "when" of "when the crime happens" they tend to think they can alter the chances of being caught in their favor.

Re:Shut up and drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623889)

" longer prison terms solve nothing. "

you are correct, but punching the driver of the car in the face will. This is the problem, humans need to be punched the second they do something stupid for them to learn.

Re:Shut up and drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622711)

Right on. As one who has been rear ended by two of these distracted driving assholes, I would like to say "just put away the electronics and drive". If these morons think that their pathetic texting, tweeting, emailing is more important than paying attention to the road, they should take a bus.

Re:Shut up and drive... (2)

Immerman (2627577) | about a month ago | (#47623009)

Agreed. On the other hand if plugged into the OBD-II port it should also be able to display dashboard and other useful info. I'm actually kind of surprised they didn't capitalize on that more - for example I kind of like the idea of a compact speed gauge floating over my front bumper - no need to look down to double-check my speed while driving through a school zone, and it could easily be overlayed on one corner of the map.

Re:Shut up and drive... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623393)

Just have a companion Bluetooth dongle for the OBD-II port. Paired with this device, you get all of the car information and troubleshooting (if and when needed).

Re:Shut up and drive... (1)

show me altoids (1183399) | about a month ago | (#47623811)

Not only didn't you RTFA, you didn't read the first fucking line of the summary. Wow.

Re:Shut up and drive... (1)

pla (258480) | about a month ago | (#47623727)

As a long-time biker, I often see the drivers working their smartphone whilst swerving through traffic and chatting up their passengers

Magnificent, 10/10! You will get many fish to bite.

DTFV (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622445)

Drive The Fucking Vehicle (analogous to FTFA - Fly The Fucking Aircraft). That means you shouldn't really be doing any talking, gesturing, masturbating and other such activities beyond watching the road.

a great technology for the United States. (4, Funny)

nimbius (983462) | about a month ago | (#47622457)

As an american ive been using hand gestures and voice commands in traffic for years now.

6 feet? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | about a month ago | (#47622481)

Isn't 6 feet a little close for an HUD? If you're focussing your attention at the end of your car's nose I'm not sure that's ideal.

Does work (1)

DrYak (748999) | about a month ago | (#47623317)

The trick is, although the focus point is near (nearby the car's nose), the region you're looking at is also the region where the other interesting things (like the car in front) also happen to be visible.
In other words, you're much more likely to notice that car in front of you has slammed brakes when you're looking at a virtual display transparently floating between said car and you, than if you were looking away from the car down to your right at the "infotainment" display.

That's why some cars already use this concept for the display of their crash-avoidance systems.

Re:6 feet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623391)

Right, because pedestrians and bicycles don't matter.

This will be a big hit... (1)

DavidHumus (725117) | about a month ago | (#47622501)

...especially with law firms specializing in personal injury.

Ummm ...what? (4, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month ago | (#47622525)

other applications can also be controlled with hand gestures enabled by an infrared camera

So, instead of people taking their hands of the steering wheel to hold onto their phone, they're going to take them off the steering wheel to control their stuff with gestures???

Seriously people, are you actually designing something for people who are driving cars?

Here's a suggestion, save your damned text messages and social media updates for when you're not bloody well driving.

Re:Ummm ...what? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about a month ago | (#47622557)

Here's a suggestion, save your damned text messages and social media updates for when you're not bloody well driving.

Like!

Re:Ummm ...what? (1)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about a month ago | (#47622697)

Who drives with two hands? You only really need one to operate a steering wheel. Waving your hand left or right is significantly less distracting than typing on a keyboard. Not only that, but keeping your eyes on the road, as opposed to looking down, is much safer.

Here's a suggestion, save your damned text messages and social media updates for when you're not bloody well driving.

That worked out really well with prohibition. It is a great suggestion, but hoping people will not send texts/emails/answer phone calls while driving is simply naive. I think an invention like this that hopes to make it safer for people to use their phone while driving is a much better alternative than scolding people who use their phone. I completely agree that it is dangerous to use your phone. It's 2014, there are better/smarter ways to use a phone than holding it and typing on it.

Re:Ummm ...what? (1)

gstoddart (321705) | about a month ago | (#47622793)

That worked out really well with prohibition. It is a great suggestion, but hoping people will not send texts/emails/answer phone calls while driving is simply naive.

Don't know about you, but where I live, it's illegal to do this while driving.

What really needs to happen is for the police to start enforcing it, because I can go to any intersection and watch a large chunk of drivers texting.

Start fining people and taking away their licenses, and you'll see some change.

If you're trying to use a gesture interface to post a fscking Facebook update, you're not paying enough attention to the road -- and if you get into an accident, you are criminally negligent.

Re:Ummm ...what? (1)

suutar (1860506) | about a month ago | (#47625409)

what _really_ needs to happen is someone needs to figure out how to actually get people to _understand_ "yes, this can in fact happen to you. You are not magical, you are not perfect, you are probably not even as good as you think you are, and if something does go wrong you can in fact be totally hosed."

But at that point I think we're pushing the next stage of evolution, so I don't expect it to be soon.

Re:Ummm ...what? (3, Interesting)

Ziggitz (2637281) | about a month ago | (#47622971)

There's a difference between the federal prohibition of all alcoholic beverages and telling someone to put their fucking phone away for 20 minutes while they operate a 2 ton weapon. One is an absolute ban and the other is requiring you by law to be a responsible adult and not partake in activities that have been proven to kill people while driving and to perform those activities at a safe time.

Re:Ummm ...what? (1)

gunner_von_diamond (3461783) | about a month ago | (#47623919)

and the other is requiring you by law to be a responsible adult and not partake in activities that have been proven to kill people while driving and to perform those activities at a safe time

Sounds like drinking and driving. True vehicular manslaughter.

In 2010, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, accounting for nearly one-third (31%) of all traffic-related deaths in the United States.1

source: http://www.cdc.gov/motorvehicl... [cdc.gov]

Back to my original point, Just having a law to tell people to stop doing something, even if it's enforced like DUI's, still won't prevent everyone from doing it. I think having a safer alternative, like this HUD display, is optimal to solve the problem. That's what technology is for, solving problems. Grumbling and complaing about people being on their phones won't solve anything.

A better idea - customized plate with SSN (2)

sinij (911942) | about a month ago | (#47622535)

I have a better idea, why not get a customized plate with your SSN? At least doing so has no potential of killing you in a high-speed crash.

Your OBD II port has direct access to CANBUS, as such plugging anything with wireless connectivity puts a huge "remotely mess with my car" sign on it. Throw in Bluetooth and possibly unpatched Android into the mix and you are inviting every script kiddie out there to turn your car into a video game.

Re:A better idea - customized plate with SSN (1)

dpilot (134227) | about a month ago | (#47623043)

Don't forget that your insurance company would really like to get their spy dongle onto your ODB II port, too. So this HUD is really the third usage for the ODB II port, the first of course being the diagnostics that it was designed for. How soon before we have ODB-splitters?

I'm sure your insurance company would like their spy dongle to be the only thing plugged into your ODB II port while driving, especially if the only other available driving-time plugin was a HUD/distraction. But what if other more sensible plugins became available, even safety improving ones, say a breathalyzer lockout...

Re:A better idea - customized plate with SSN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623147)

My car lacks OBD2, or OBD1.... lol all these things to make driving "safer" are just to turn a profit and don't actually care about making driving safer. An ounce of prevention is better than a gallon of medicine.

That being said was is not travolta who said "if your important, people will wait for you" well i'm pretty important in my own life, so people can wait for my social media updates, calls and text messages. I like to enjoy the experience of driving, if i didn't i would just take the bus.

Re:A better idea - customized plate with SSN (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623297)

OBD isn't about making driving safer. It's designed to assist in troubleshooting your vehicle. Originally it was mostly to troubleshoot emissions issues, but nowadays the level of diagnostic information available via OBD is staggering and incredibly useful. For example, using OBD you'll find your engine's knock sensors are better at finding misfires than the ear and stethoscope of even the very best auto technician in the world. OBD will let you know your spark plug isn't firing without that lovely open spark in a flame-hazardous environment. It will even let you know if the transmission didn't understand the shift request it was sent.

OBD, frankly, is probably the best thing that came to cars for anyone trying to diagnose their own vehicle. It's just unfortunate that accessing the more useful data tends to be either a complex or expensive task. If today's youth weren't so dead set against personal transportation and equally dead set against having any personal outdoor space whatsoever, we'd probably find it helping enable an entirely new generation to do fix cars themselves.

Encouraging bad behavior. (2, Insightful)

plebeian (910665) | about a month ago | (#47622553)

My brother was just rear ended by someone who was talking on the phone. People do not need more distractions while driving. A HUD should be limited to presenting information that helps people drive. Talking on the phone even hands free is still a distraction, visual navigation systems are also an unnecessary distraction. Honestly people put the phone down and pay attention to the road, your life and the lives of others depends on it.

Re:Encouraging bad behavior. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622953)

There are things that I do want to know that my phone and my car working together can figure out.

  • What's the current speed limit - it's easy to miss the speed signs, especially when you're turning onto a road from a sideroad where you might not see them! Can we have some sort of display that tells me I'm going too fast (too slow?) without me having to compare two numbers? A red warning symbol for going too fast?
  • Thundercall alerts. If there's weather enroute that means I need to get off the road coming in the next few minutes, I'd like to be told that in a way that doesn't involve me looking at my phone, and BEFORE I get onto a highway
  • Pull over and deal with this alerts. I don't want phone calls or text messages when driving, but I want voice prompts for whoever is calling me whenever I am driving to give people the option to to be able to show me a message that simply tells me it's urgent that I pull over and contact them (e.g. turn around this trip isn't necessary anymore)

Improvements (1)

DrYak (748999) | about a month ago | (#47623809)

What's the current speed limit - it's easy to miss the speed signs, especially when you're turning onto a road from a sideroad where you might not see them! Can we have some sort of display that tells me I'm going too fast (too slow?) without me having to compare two numbers? A red warning symbol for going too fast?

Yup, it's possible. Basically two ways:
- GPS that have databse of speedlimits (also useful when the GPS computes the fastest route). That's both available at some car manufacturer (as a random example, Volvo's nav does it) and available at 3rd parties (As an exemple, the openstreetmaps database has speed limits, and the opensource navit [navit-project.org] application does display them, along with color-code (green/red) to tell you if your within/beyond the limits).
That would be rather easy to integrate into TFA's HUD. (as it has on-board and can also connect to smartphones over bluetooth. And maybe could also get the information from the infotainment over the ODB2? No idea about that).

- Optical recognition:
Latest generation camera and image recognition capabilities of crash avoidance systems (like mobilEYE [mobileye.com] which is one of the major manufacturer and 3rd-party solution provider) are able to detect and decode traffic sign like speed limits. This could also be fed into the HUD's onboard apps, or ask the smart-phone to display it to the hud instead of its own screen).

Thundercall alerts. If there's weather enroute that means I need to get off the road coming in the next few minutes, I'd like to be told that in a way that doesn't involve me looking at my phone, and BEFORE I get onto a highway

The radios have a capabilities called RDS [wikipedia.org] on which are broadcast informations like TMC [wikipedia.org] , and its common place nearly everywhere in europe. This information is used by the GPS (either the in-car, or a 3rd party with an integrated FM receiver). Whenever a problem happens, the TMC information about it is digitally broad cast over RDS and your GPS gives a small alert box, telling that you might need to adapt your route to the newest information and giving you the options to read the information (if you haven't heard them over TA/TP) and giving you the option to have the GPS calculate a safe alternate route around the problem.

Again something useful to have on the HUD, and not that complicated to integrate.

Re:Encouraging bad behavior. (1)

pla (258480) | about a month ago | (#47624157)

A HUD should be limited to presenting information that helps people drive. Talking on the phone even hands free is still a distraction, visual navigation systems are also an unnecessary distraction.

It distracts me far less to take a brief glance at the GPS map at a time of my choosing, than to have it yell at me every 30 seconds and I then have to figure out if it means turn here, or the next exit, or I missed my turn, or it wanted me to magically teleport to the road below the bridge I just went over, etc.


Honestly people put the phone down and pay attention to the road, your life and the lives of others depends on it.

Putting the ability to wave and glance at that map right in front of me, rather than needing to fumble with something in my lap while trying to make brief glances at it? I'd call that a net win.

I will agree with you 100% about the non-navigational capabilities of this device, however. Seriously, a fucking Twitter feed? C'mon, what sane person consider that a good idea?

Encouraging bad behavior. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47625515)

I take it you've never seen a visual navigation system that displays turns onto the windshield? If you had, you'd think it was very good for safety!

Honestly officer, I wasn't watching TV on my HUD (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about a month ago | (#47622679)

But, you see, there was a fly in the car and as I tried to swat it...

Finally a combat HUD for my car! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622811)

Forget messaging or GPS. I'm much more interested the targeting reticle, lead indicator, target speed, and lock notice applications.

Apple CarPlay (2)

DigiShaman (671371) | about a month ago | (#47622817)

Yeah, whatever. Alpine [alpine-usa.com] will soon be releasing a head unit that supports Apple CarPlay [apple.com] . That's what I'm waiting for. In fact, I haven't been this excited in aftermarket car audio in well over 20 years. =)

Re:Apple CarPlay (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47624869)

Get the fuck back to crapple.com, you retarded astroturfing Mactard.

Joy Oculus Rift for the Car (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47622985)

Siriously folks, we need self driving cars before the human race goes exstinct

Navdy will get their pants sued off (1)

supernova87a (532540) | about a month ago | (#47622999)

HUD is a reasonable tool to augment driving information. It makes sense for maps, directions, vehicle alerts. Does not make sense for "luxury" and distraction-causing activities like texting, videos, anything in that area.

Opening up this can of worm is so directly linkable to liability for accidents, that I would be surprised if this company survives the first lawsuit.

Douglas Adams was right about future controls (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623139)

"A loud clatter of gunk music flooded through the Heart of Gold cabin as Zaphod searched the sub-etha radio wave bands for news of himself. The machine was rather difficult to operate. For years radios had been operated by means of pressing buttons and turning dials; then as the technology became more sophisticated the controls were made touch-sensitive -- you merely had to brush the panels with your fingers; now all you had to do was wave your hand in the general direction of the components and hope. It saved a lot of muscular expenditure, of course, but meant that you had to sit infuriatingly still if you wanted to keep listening to the same program."

-- Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

My 2004 Pontiac Grand Prix had a HUD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47623229)

It was flipping awesome being able to see direction and speed right there. It even showed radio stations for XM when I changed the channels. I have no clue why every car in the world didn't adopt this feature. My only guess is GM had a patent tight as a snare drum.

hand gesture? (1)

nurb432 (527695) | about a month ago | (#47623263)

So if i flip someone the bird i get a HUD targeting/fire control display?

Vision and attention (1)

trawg (308495) | about a month ago | (#47623875)

My partner is a vision and attention researcher, so I've absorbed some fascinating information about how vision and attention are related.

You can be looking at something but not actually paying any attention to it. Further, your attention works differently at different depth planes - so while you might be focused on the HUD thinking that you're still aware of what's happening on the road, you almost certainly are not.

This sounds like an interesting device but - based on my partner's research and what she's said about it - it doesn't seem like it deals gracefully with issues of attention. I think there's definitely the potential for regulatory restrictions on devices like these if greater risk is demonstrated.

We already have relevant laws, don't we? (1)

Zamslam (879283) | about a month ago | (#47624177)

You can already get certain kinds of data from your dashboard and in-car infotainment systems designed for the driver to use. We presumably have laws that specify what's legit (speed, radio, etc.,) and what's not (watching tv shows). Can't we agree that if a HUD limits itself it what's already available, and is less distracting than the already approved alternative, then it's a win? If it tries to do things that are illegal, then it's bad? That assumes that the existing laws already do a reasonable job of win vs bad, but if they don't - fix the existing law - but a device like this seems no worse, if the gestures aren't more distracting than reaching for knobs/buttons. If this device wants to do more than is legal in existing head units / dials / knobs then we have a legislative process to address that. I had a rental with a HUD, and it seemed to me (FWIW) that it was less distracting to use that to see speed / nav directions on that then to take my eyes further from the road to look down at the speedo or center console video screen. YMMV.

I'll wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47625123)

...for the version that display porn.

LCARS (1)

BorgAssimilator (1167391) | about a month ago | (#47625429)

I won't be happy until I get my LCARS display. Just imagine controlling a car like that.

Heck, "car" is already included in the acronym!

Will it handle an Italian accent? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47625831)

Lots of waving of hands?

Uhhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47625953)

Car not for sale to Italians.

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