The Swiss-based startup WayRay has secured $80 for the production of AR windshields. The biggest investors include some of the leading automakers around like Porsche and Hyundai. Other companies, Alibaba among them, also make their monetary presence in the project. More than simply laying info on a screen, the AR application might just change how we think about driving altogether.
WayRay clearly means business when it comes to AR driving. Since its conception in 2012, the company has raised more than $100 million, $80 of which this calendar year. The game-like AR driving experience might not be too far off at this point. Porsche, whom WayRay has already teamed up with for a European car innovation initiative, is the project’s main moneyman. While current head-up displays are little more than static images with presentable info on them, WayRay are aiming at the genuine AR windshields solution.
The list of future features alone is reason enough to pay attention to WayRay. Performance-wise, the new technology includes real-time drive line with brake or hit-the-gas prompts. The AR bit also displays a ghost car taking the ideal turn ahead, also in real-time. More to the traffic side of things, there will be pedestrian crossing hints, crosswalk emphasis, as well as priority markings among different road signs. Reaching the destination, the AR windshield will stock the ability to effectively find a decent parking spot. All of this will be accompanied by a natural field of view, while also offering more complete navigation system.
Reality tech has seen a fruitful application in the automotive industry. Most of it is done in training programs and buying guides, but the real progress is expected to come only with real-time AR driving user experience. The real kick with WayRay AR solution is that it ‘can be installed in almost any car’, the courtesy of small wide-field projector. The AR windshields solution is still some time ahead, but money talks more loudly than any speakers might. it seems that there is some real progress going on behind the scenes.
Porsche and Hyundai are reportedly aiming to implement the AR windshields system in two years’ time. Whereas Porsche’s interests are rather clear and include track-based AR performance enhancements, Hyundai is the more ambitious of the two. The automaker CIO Youngcho Chi is on record talking about developing AR driving ecosystems which will include ‘smart cities and smart buildings’ besides. WayRay might just be the startup to spring all these ideas into AR reality. The company is planning to open a production factory in Germany and spread its influence into the smart cars and smart homes businesses.
Looks like the last year’s predictions have proven their merit after all. It will be worth the time to keep an eye on WayRay in the coming days. AR windshields, revolutionary as they might be, may be just a step towards a rounder automobile automation systems. Who knows what will be cooking up in the years to come.