Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Does a Heads-Up Display (HUD) Work?

How Does a Heads-Up Display (HUD) Work?

Heads Up Display

Driver safety has become paramount in recent years. There has been a strong emphasis on ensuring you as a driver can keep your eyes on the road as much as possible. Devices have been incorporated into vehicle controls for this purpose, such as:

  • Navigation systems so you can avoid looking at maps while driving

  • Hands-free Bluetooth integration so you don’t need to hold your cell phone to answer a call

  • Steering wheel mounted audio controls so you don’t have to look at the radio to change stations

  • Heads-Up Displays so you don’t have to look at your instrument cluster to see your speed

Heads-up displays are not new technology. They have been used in fighter jets since the 1950’s so pilots could maintain concentration in a forward view. Head-up displays used to be only for the high-end vehicles like Cadillac, Land Rover, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz. Even then, only the higher trim lines would be equipped with heads-up display technology. Now, it is commonly available on several mid-line vehicles and will undoubtedly gain more popularity.

How heads-up display work

There are a couple different types of heads-up displays. Some vehicles have a section of the windshield that is embedded with transparent phosphors. These phosphors react with a laser that shines onto the windshield and displays the information at eye level on the glass. If the light or laser is turned off, the windshield is clear. Other vehicles use a reflective mirror section on the windshield. While mostly transparent, the reflection allows for a light embedded on the dash to be reflected on the windshield. The light can be turned off, and once again the windshield is clear, or nearly clear.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


More related articles

The Traveler’s Guide to Driving in Malaysia
CraigBurrows / Malaysia is a popular destination for many tourists today. The country has amazing sights and attractions that you will want to explore....
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
P2159 OBD-II Trouble Code: Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2159 P2159 code definition Vehicle Speed Sensor B Range/Performance...

Related questions

Q: What is the vehicle information display?

Your central gauge cluster is where you’ll find vital information about your vehicle and its operation. Everything from the speed at which you’re traveling to whether or not cruise control is active can be found here. You’ll also find the...

Q: How do I use the flash-to-pass feature in a 2012 Ford Explorer?

The flash-to-pass feature flashes your high beams headlights briefly. To use this feature, pull the Turn Signal lever towards you slightly, and quickly release. Tip This feature can be used even when the headlights are not on.

Q: Q: Remote and windshield issues

Hello there, a few different things can cause the power door lock to not work for the passenger side. The most common would be the lock actuator, wiring issues, or a mechanical linkage issue for the lock. When the rocks...