How will the driving experience look and feel in 10 years? Between driverless cars and concepts like this, we could be on the verge of a new automotive revolution. Mini has revealed their own take on the future with the Mini Augmented Vision Glasses, a prototype that uses a variety of sensors, cameras and inputs to present a new driving experience. It’s like Google Glass VR for drivers, and it’s designed to provide a data-rich visual dashboard behind-the-wheel.
Mini’s “Augmented Vision” Glasses provide a heads-up display as is common in science fiction lore. The data a driver needs to navigate the road and control their vehicle is presented in a visual display directly in front of their eyes. No matter which way the driver looks, the information is there for viewing. The Augmented Vision system has a mix of expected information — like speed, signals and gears — plus some information that comes right out of the future. Most notably is the x-ray view that allows the driver to “see through” the body panels of the vehicle to see hazards beyond the vehicle. The dog running into the street, the j-walker crossing early and a variety of other hazards can be seen long before they would normally come into view.
The Mini Augmented Vision Glasses aren’t just built for the behind-the-wheel experience. They are “connected eyewear” beyond the vehicle, designed to provide information and navigation throughout one’s day. From the first time you put them on in the morning until you get behind the wheel of your car, they’re involved. They can tell you about mobile notifications, they can remind you when you need to leave to get to work (and not just when you drive, but also when you walk or take public transit). They can alert you of road hazards that may delay your day. In the Augmented Vision intro video (below), they show that they even connect with media around you. Like the concert poster, where Augmented Vision can help you get tickets at a glance.
Mini’s Augmented Vision goggles are just a prototype at this point. They aren’t coming out any time soon, but they are a project that Mini is actively developing with Qualcomm. Will it see the light of day (and the road ahead)? Who knows. But they do entertain a new future for driving that we find undeniably exciting. [mini]