After announcing new ventures last year in drones and autonomous cars, Alpine Electronics’ corporate parent in Japan this week said it has teamed up with camera maker Konica Minolta to develop automotive heads up displays (HUDs) using augmented reality.
Konica Minolta’s 3D augmented reality displays images on a windshield three dimensionally by projecting multiple images simultaneously at multiple distances from a driver.
The technology allows information to be overlaid onto images of pedestrians or road obstacles (including multiple objects at the same time), while showing exact distance in precise focus.
Alpine will bring its automotive expertise to the venture along with its HMI (human machine interface) technologies while Konica Minolta brings its expertise in optics, high precision machining, and image processing.
The partnership with Konica Minolta follows Alpine’s entry into industrial drones in a joint venture with Toshiba announced. Under that program, Alpine is developing drones that may be used to inspect electrical power lines and steel towers, which can be dangerous for human inspectors. Under the same program Alpine is also making “compact unmanned aerial vehicles.”
In a third venture, Alpine has joined with IBM to develop next generation systems for autonomous cars.