Honda is working on a tactile head-up display for motorcycles


Heads up display or HUD is a technology used in the aerospace industry that began to spread in cars less than a decade ago. More recently, companies have also started adding them to motorcycle helmets. Think about it, a HUD allows you to see your speed or consult your navigation instructions without having to look at your instruments. Now it looks like the technology could become available directly on motorcycles.

A number of helmet companies and startups have included a HUD element in their covers – none have yet become mainstream, not even Shoei’s iteration of a smart helmet. As the era of smart motorcycle helmets slowly progresses, Honda is exploring the possibility of integrating HUDs directly into their motorcycles.

A patent released in early October shows a variety of Honda motorcycles fitted with a selection of HUD system variants suitable for different types of motorcycles. One of the versions is shown on the Africa Twin (main image) and it positions a projector where the usual gauge cluster would be, projecting the image onto the motorcycle’s windshield.

From bottom to top?

Honda HUD

… or top to bottom?

Another iteration demonstrated on what looks like a CBR500R places the spotlight on the gas tank, also pointing towards the windshield. A third version proposes to position the projector on the windshield and to project it downwards onto the fuel tank. Honda has no shortage of ideas on how to incorporate the technology, that’s for sure.

Honda HUD

Mickey shows us how to do it.

The HUD system would display the usual information such as speed and fuel level, but would also be capable of projecting navigation instructions and turn-by-turn warnings. In addition, still according to the document, the projection would be tactile. Using a transparent electrode applied to the windshield, the rider could use the projection of the HUD as a touchpad.

While the technology itself is pretty straightforward, being able to adapt it to a motorcycle is the real challenge. It will be interesting to see how Honda’s project evolves over time and whether its next generation of motorcycles will be equipped with the technology. I know a few helmet companies that must be starting to feel the heat now …

Source: Free Online Patents


About Todd Wurtsbach

Check Also

Kawasaki’s KR-1 was a temperamental failure…but a fantastic pleasure

For some enthusiasts, the most exciting era of motorcycling is the two-stroke era – when …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.