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
Icon-warranty_badge-02

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.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Find the Keyless Code on a Ford Explorer or Mercury Mountaineer
Many Ford Explorers and Mercury Mountaineers were manufactured with an option known as the Ford keyless entry keypad. Some models refer to it as SecuriCode as well. It...
Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in Kentucky
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet requires that all drivers in Kentucky carry liability automotive insurance, or “financial responsibility” in order to operate a vehicle legally and maintain vehicle...
How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...

Related questions

Q: How Does a Heads-Up Display Operate?

In simplest terms the HUD or heads up display works by reflecting light off the windshield to display gauges and other vital driver information in order to reduce or eliminate the need to look away from the road ahead. This...

Q: What does the Engine Overheated -- Idle Engine message mean in a 2012 Chevrolet Equinox?

The Engine Overheated – Stop Engine message can appear on your driver information center (DIC), and is accompanied by a continuous chime. When the DIC displays this alert, the engine is too hot and can cause severe damage. Stop your...

Q: Windshield wipers keep going

The windshield wiper motor has a parking circuit that will cause the motor to park home, and the wiper blades to shut off, when you turn off the wipers at the switch. If a problem is encountered where the wiper...