A conventional heads-up display in a premium car would cost a few thousand dollars but HUDWAY is a semi/pseudo-augmented-reality app which aims to bring HUD for your car's windshield. The aim is to make driving in low-light, nighttime, rains/snow safer than before.
It's a unique concept that requires a lot of refinements but it's a concept that has thankfully been launched. In exploring the app and its uses, it looks like someone has really taken the first steps towards solving one of the core problems of driving: low-visibility.
The way HUDWAY solves driver safety issues is by letting you anticipate correctly any impending turn that you are about to take. This is how it works, briefly:
- You set a route before you begin your journey. HUDWAY records the route and gets all the data from the internet. You can then switch off the internet if you prefer.
- Next, you place the iPhone on a flat surface right beneath the windshield. HUDWAY displays the data on the iPhone screen which gets reflected on the windshield – making it look like a HUD.
- HUDWAY will let you know about upcoming turns and the distances involved. This lets you anticipate and therefore be cautious about turns.
- Features like red-labeled display cautions you against steep and dangerous turns.
By way of concept, HUDWAY is very new to the App Store. It's a really unique and simplified approach to assisted navigation. HUDWAY is no-frills: there are no voice commands, no other data displays which can be distracting. Instead, it's a simple display of the road/curve ahead and the distance (and the speed).
HUDWAY is specifically intended to be used in low-visibility, especially cloudy and dark days and nights when you don't have a lot of street-lights blaring into the vehicle. Since the display is small, you wouldn't be able to see much in broad daylight or under a battering of ambient lights (say, the city traffic in the night).
The iPhone app, however, is far from being perfect. But the best thing about HUDWAY is that it will lead to very interesting solutions for a very persistent problem. Driving in low-light or under a rainstorm is one of the most dangerous things to do. The risk of not seeing a turn can be very costly and this is the only thing that HUDWAY wants to solve. The path chosen is pretty ingenius.
Unlike a few other GPS-related apps, HUDWAY is pretty slick and cool. It's not a stiff app. For instance, you don't need internet when you use the app on the drive; you only need it to download the route to the app. It's pretty social too and quite easy to use.
If you get to use the app, do let us know about your experience!