Electronics and Semiconductors

Volvo teams with Varjo for AR vehicle headsets

30 May 2019
The prototype augmented reality system being proposed by Volvo and Varjo. Source: Volvo

Volvo Cars and augmented reality (AR) headset maker Varjo are working together to develop mixed-reality devices for vehicles that would improve active safety technologies.

Implementing AR into vehicles is one of the more interesting trends happening in the automotive market, as the technology could boost driver awareness by presenting virtual objects in view of the real world. These might include turn-by-turn directions displayed in the windshield, alerts to accidents or traffic, information such as speed and mileage, braking notifications or other advanced driving assistance systems.

The system developed by Volvo and Varjo involves wearing a mixed-reality headset that adds virtual elements or complete features that seem real to the driver. The Varjo XR-1 headset, which was recently launched and used in the development system, uses HD cameras in the headset along with AR to simulate different safety features for the driver. The headset allows Volvo engineers to easily develop and evaluate active safety solutions. Volvo tested the headset at its research facilities in Sweden in a real-world environment and claims it is the first automaker to pursue these features in a vehicle.

The eye-tracking technology embedded inside the XR-1 can assess how drivers use a new functionality and whether they are distracted. This will allow Volvo to create new AR features that will not cause additional distraction, the company said.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com

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