Automotive head-up windshield electronics display
Bringing fighter jet technology to the automotive cockpit.
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Head-Up Display Solutions

  • Whether you say, ‘Heads Up Display’ or ‘Head Up’ or simply call it HUD; the windscreen is the canvas of the future in connected mobility. For driver information, augmented reality or seeing turn by turn navigation; now critical information is right where it’s needed – directly in the driver’s line of sight.

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Display readability and design flexibility

  • A HUD image needs to be visible in all lighting conditions. The Picture Generating Unit (PGU) needs a light source which provides enough luminance to effectively compete with direct sunlight. The image must work across all driver profiles, tall or short, and the projection should not diminish if he or she is wearing polarized sunglasses. To accommodate driver information, a wide field of view is needed and this means an increase in HUD volume. Significant thermal engineering and customization is necessary to meet all of these requirements.

    3M has developed some light-manipulating wizardry to assist—based not in magic, but in the science of optics.


Brighter, more robust HUDs

  • Reduce solar irradiance while delivering a crisper, brighter image to passengers. 3M is the first company to create reflective polarizing mirror film and brings this experience to the automotive display industry. When placed in the PGU stack between the LEDs and the LCD, 3M™ Reflective Polarizer Mirror (3M™ RPM) reflects the unused polarization state, reducing heat load while providing an image that is the same or slightly brighter.

    3M™ Cold Mirror Film (CMF) increases HUD PGU reliability by reducing solar irradiance by ~40%. Cold mirror film is a turnkey solution to replace a traditional cold mirror. With >98% reflectance and true color replication; CMF reflects the LCD image with high efficiency and transmits infrared (IR) wavelengths, thereby reducing heat load. Because it’s a reflective polarizer; it also transmits light of the wrong polarization state. The result— less visible light creating signal noise in the PGU. It can be adhered to any durable surface, enabling flexible form factors and a reduced HUD volume.

  • Diagram with 3M Cold Mirror Film in use in a head up display configuration
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  • Diagram showing 3M Windshield Combiner Film in auto windshield

Removing the wedge between drivers and their augmented reality

  • Increase the HUD field of view and virtually eliminate secondary images by using 3M™ Windshield Combiner Film (3M™ WCF) to replace the PVB wedge. This film aligns both glass layers so passengers of all heights can see a single image at the correct depth. We work with leading glass suppliers to determine the best way to apply the film neatly across the entire windscreen without noticeable edge lines.


Image of three HUD displays with and without polarized sunglasses and 3M Windshield Combiner Film
A better view through sunglasses
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  • Reflect P-polarized light and deliver a vivid, clear HUD image to passengers wearing polarized sunglasses. When the PGU is configured to project P-pole light, windshield combiner film can clearly reflect the image at any angle. 3M engineers can work with your display team to solve problems in the design phase. Together we can clear the way to bring an augmented display wherever the driver and passenger need it.


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Hear from Jim Sax, Vice President of Research and Development for Automotive Electrification at 3M, about how HUDs are paving the way to ADAS

  • Headshot of Jim Sax, Vice President of Research and Development for Automotive Electrification, 3M

    The Human to Machine Interface (HMI) is undergoing a technological boon in automotive design, with Head-Up Displays (HUDs) poised to take over the windshield. HUDs were born in fighter jets. Pilots needed critical information at a glance while flying — hence the term, "head-up." Once the province of premium enthusiasts, HUDs may soon become standard issue, just as back-up cameras are today.

    "I believe HUD is one of the critical technologies to embrace as the future moves towards more autonomous vehicles, playing a vital role in reducing driver distraction, and providing a safer mobility experience."


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