Originally designed for military fighter aircraft, the head-up display quickly found its way into automotive use through the fact that the same benefits it provides a fighter pilot can be applied to the average road user as well.
A head-up display is named for the fact that it allows a driver to keep their head up and focused on the road while simultaneously being able to view vehicle information.
This is achieved through a lighting system that projects information onto the windscreen of the car which is semi-transparent so as not to take away from the driver’s ability to see the road.
Some models project the information onto a small transparent screen in front of the windscreen instead.
Information displayed normally includes a digital speed read-out along with other information such as navigation directions, audio information, and increasingly more advanced information such as traffic sign recognition.
Traditional HUD systems were monochromatic (one colour), but newer systems are available in full colour.