HARMAN is helping Daimler in redefining the modern compact car class with luxury driving experiences – chiefly the first-ever use of augmented reality navigation. Debuting in the next generation Mercedes-Benz A-Class as a part of the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX), the system combines Daimler and HARMAN technology to provide turn-by-turn directions with AR visuals to transport the navigation user interface into the digital age.
The new system also helps OEMs prepare for Level 3, 4 and 5 autonomous vehicles. It’s an important first step in the journey toward increased safety and driver-assistance features and helps by both providing a unique visualization for navigation, and by communicating vehicle autonomy to occupants. This will also help former self-drivers ease into their transition as passengers when getting behind the wheel of an autonomous car.
In a self-driving situation, the feature would eliminate the abstract map all together to show occupants what the car is about to do next: for example, make a turn, accelerate, brake, switch lanes, or merge. This intuitive and holistic navigation experience would be shown in real-life context, giving passengers a feeling of control despite the vehicle’s autonomous capabilities.
By communicating these actions to occupants through intuitive visualizations, an entire generation of drivers can more comfortably transform into passengers through a better understanding of surrounding traffic and environmental conditions. These features aren’t exclusive to fully-autonomous technology either – the augmented reality technology can also help drivers experience contextual mapping and additional functionality enabled through advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) such as lane-departure warning, blind spot monitoring and automated cruise control.