Navigate Like A Fighter Pilot

Smartphones have pretty much taken over as the default navigation tool for many drivers. However, some states like California have outright banned smartphone use in the car: no windshield mounts or dashboard cradles allowed. So, how are you going to get your turn-by-turn directions when looking at your phone is illegal? Garmin has announced a new way to interact with its StreetPilot and Navigon smartphone navigation apps: a device called the HUD.

HUD — short for head-up display — sits on the dashboard at the base of the windshield, where it projects navigation data upward into the driver’s line of sight, either onto a transparent film affixed to the windshield glass or a reflector lens that attaches to the HUD device. Both the film and reflector lens are included with the device.

Garmin states that HUD will automatically adjust the brightness of its projections, so that the display remains visible in direct sunlight or at night. The device will be powered by a 12V charging cable with an integrated USB port for keeping your smartphone charged as well.

What’s your phone got to do with this? HUD’s data is provided by one of Garmin’s navigation apps — either Navigon or StreetPilot — on an Android, iPhone, or Windows Phone 8 smartphone. The head-up display pairs with your handset via Bluetooth to communicate with the navigation app. (Many phones can also simultaneously pair with your car’s Bluetooth system to broadcast the spoken portion of the turn-by-turn directions and to take incoming calls.)

In addition to turn arrows, distance to the next turn, current speed and speed limit, HUD can also display the estimated time of arrival, graphic lane guidance, traffic delays, upcoming safety camera locations, excessive speed warnings, and more.

By projecting this limited, yet relevant data up in the driver’s line of sight, Garmin claims that “HUD can help increase safety and reduce driver distraction. HUDs windshield display looks pretty cool too.

The Garmin HUD has an MSRP of $149.99 when it becomes readily available later this summer. Add in an additional $29.99 for Garmin’s StreetPilot or Navigon app for your particular smartphone to power it and off you go.

Here’s a YouTube Video showing the device in action:

Garmin’s Head-up Display (HUD)

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