Head-up Displays (HUDs) | 2014 Buick LaCrosse
By Douglas Newcomb, MSN Autos
Head-up displays have been available in cars for almost 30 years, but unlike other features that first show up on high-end cars and then trickle down to less expensive models, HUDs still haven’t become widespread.
And HUDs certainly aren’t high-tech, since the illusion of projecting information on the windshield in front of the driver isn’t magic and is literally done with mirrors.
I was impressed with the HUD in the new 2014 Buick LaCrosse I recently test drove because – beyond giving the driver basic information such as speed, rpm and navigation directions – it keeps drivers informed about other car systems and the potential for accidents.
For example, the HUD in the LaCrosse not only shows cruise control info, but because the car I drove had adaptive cruise control (ACC) it displayed the gap setting for ACC. It also indicates when the ACC system is overridden after the gas pedal is pushed by showing the warning, “No Cruise Breaking, Gas Pedal Applied.” As you can see in the picture below, the warning stands out clearly even in daylight, although the HUD is not as easy to see in bright sunlight.
Perhaps even more importantly, the HUD gives the driver warnings from the lane departure warning and forward collision alert systems (as seen in the photo above). While some of the information displayed in the HUD is repeated in the LCD instrument panel a few inches below, having this info in your face keeps a driver’s eyes on the road.
And that second or so saved by not having to look down could mean the difference between avoiding an accident or being involved in one.