A head-up display is a display that places information in or just outside the driver’s line of sight, above the plane of the dashboard.

While a head-up display can take almost any form, the most common and compelling type reflects its image directly off the car’s windshield just below the driver’s line of sight. This is achieved by means of a display on the top of the dashboard and a specially coated windshield. In the early 1990s, General Motors introduced HUDs that supplemented the vehicle’s instrument panel, meaning it placed information already available in the gauges closer to the driver’s view of the road. In the Pontiac Bonneville, the HUD showed a digital speedometer, turn-signal icons and little else. Over the years, GM HUDs have become more sophisticated, as in the Chevrolet Corvette, which adds a tachometer and the option to cycle among oil pressure, coolant temperature and fuel level readings. GM also sells a HUD in the GMC Acadia and Cadillac STS. BMW also has an available HUD system on many of its vehicles.


The feature is becoming more useful and flexible as automakers move away from LED icon-based displays to “configurable” LCD monitors that can display just about anything. 

Information for this was taken from the Cars.com’s glossary, written by Joe Wiesenfelder.

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Answered by Joe Bruzek on November 17, 2008 in Glossary | Permalink

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