It’s an augmented reality system that looks like it’s straight out of sci-fi movies... at least in the official promos.
The Volkswagen ID.3 may have encountered some software issues just as it was about to start shipping, but even so, it’s arguably still worth the wait for many of the advanced pieces of tech it has to offer. One is the optional advanced head-up display system, which based on what we’ve seen in VW’s promo videos, is more brilliant and more advanced than anything else on the market.
Mind you, we’re still taking this with a grain of salt, since VW says that what it has shown so far is a near-production version of the system that will be available for the ID.3, so it is still subject to change. But the manufacturer clearly states that
“The augmented reality head-up display projects the navigation directions straight into the traffic situation ahead, as you’re driving.”
“The driver sees the information as a three-dimensional, staggered image at an apparent distance of three to ten meters in front of the vehicle – digital displays and the real world merge. Travel Assist controls the distance to the vehicle ahead by accelerating and braking, keeps the vehicle in lane and shows the surroundings on the Infotainment system display. The system’s function will be enhanced further at a later date: when drivers set a turn signal on motorways, Travel Assist will initiate a change in lanes, providing the surrounding traffic permits this manoeuvre.”
In the promo video, the HUD appears to extend all the way across the windscreen. We're pretty sure this won’t be the case, but it will still cover more glass surface that other similar systems. And within its confines, it will project graphics straight over what you’re seeing (hence the augmented reality part of the proposition.
So it will show you arrows hovering right above the intersection where you need to turn (as well as various other graphics to highlight other cars, for instance) and your destination will be displayed on this HUD too; it looks a lot like what you might see in a free-roam car game and it honestly looks a bit too good to be true.
But since VW does have a history of lying to its customers and legislators, we’re pretty sure they will want to steer clear of any misleading marketing. We’re really eager to see how well the system works in the real world once ID.3s become available for drives; it's definitely one of the standout features that we want to put to the test.