Garmin launches its first portable HUD for cars

8 Jul 2013

Sat-nav firm Garmin has introduced a portable heads-up display that projects real-time driving directions onto the windscreen of a vehicle.

The device is capable of projecting crisp, bright directions onto a transparent film on the windshield or an attached reflector lens.

Garmin says this is actually safer than traditional sat-nav systems as it reduces driver distraction.

The HUD device receives its navigation information from a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone running a Garmin Street Pilot 1 or Navigon app.

“HUD redefines the navigation experience by allowing drivers to find their way without taking their eyes off the road,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin vice-president of worldwide sales.

“Head-up displays currently have their place in select high-end cars, but HUD makes this technology available as an aftermarket accessory for any vehicle, at an affordable price.”  

The HUD displays turn arrows, distance to the next turn, current speed and speed limit, as well as estimated time of arrival. It even lets drivers know what lane to be in for the next manoeuvre and alerts them when they exceed the speed limit.

HUD also warns users of potential traffic delays and upcoming safety camera locations.

As well as visual display, the HUD device has spoken turn-by-turn voice directions that can come through the smartphone speaker or the car radio.

Music streamed to the car stereo fades out when voice prompts are made and during in-coming calls navigation information is also displayed.

The device will pair with iPhone, Android or Windows Phone 8 devices.

Garmin says the device will have a recommended retail price of US$129.99 and specific map apps start at US$29.99.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years