HUDWAY Glass: keeps your eyes on the road while driving

14/10/2015 12:38
A universal vehicle accessory turning your smartphone into a head-up display (HUD) for any car.
Hi, we’re HUDWAY. We made a universal vehicle accessory that turns your smartphone into a Head-Up Display (HUD) bringing comfort and safety to drivers all over the world. We did it because we’re tired of waiting for others. Because we believe that automotive HUDs are safer than an instrument-panel display or a smartphone. And because other solutions are either very expensive, or stuck in the midst of a long and complicated development process. This is the accessory we want, and we think you’ll like it. 
It's simple and affordable. Discover a new way of using your phone while driving and not being distracted. Now we need your support to make HUDWAY Glass a reality. We hope you will join us! 
We have been tirelessly working on improving safety and comfort of drivers while behind the wheel for over three years. We started with a phone app for iOS and Android, which has transformed our vision on how cell phones can be used in a car. By now, over one million drivers have tried our app, and we’ve been frequently getting emails of appreciation from our customers. We even have an amazing story about how our app saved a life of one person.
We introduced the early prototype of HUDWAY Glass at CeBIT 2015 in Hannover for the first time. It is a simple accessory, which turns any smartphone into a head-up display. Moreover, it eliminates many issues associated with projecting an image onto a windshield, including doubling of the image, lack of reflection during daytime, image size and a few others. We received very positive response from potential customers, dealers and retailers, as well as from many major representatives of the automotive industry.
Since then, we have improved our design, run a number of tests and completed production of our first sample batch of 100 devices. As such, all the photos on this page are real.
 

It is super easy to use HUDWAY Glass

 
Step 1: Use any smartphone to start any app that supports HUD mode
Step 2: Place your smartphone on a cradle with its display up 
Step 3: You are all set to go! 
 
Speedometer app is our own app that alerts you when you are exceeding the speed limit for the given road. Will be available by November 2015 for iOS (Android — by the beginning of 2016).
Sygic is a navigation app offering global offline maps and supporting HUD mode.
Navmii app is also offering good offline maps (worldwide) for navigation and neat info visualization in HUD mode.
Baidu maps is the most popular navigation app for China, which supports HUD mode, too. 
 
You can always find more apps by searching “HUD” in app stores: Apple App Store | Google Play Market
 
App stores have been showing a stable growth of the navigation and infotainment apps offering HUD (Head-Up Display) mode. Below is just a few of them, designed to reduce attention split and get all the navigation information right on the windshield. 
There are 600 million people in the world who get behind the wheel of a car every single day. According to the researches, approximately 75% of them get distracted while driving — it could be just drinking coffee, talking to a child in the back seat, reaching for the glove compartment, changing a radio station, and so on...  But the worst and most frequent distraction is our phone. 
We are always on the phone. We talk, read, type, tweet, check and search... We do selfies and share pictures. We even do video conference calls while driving! This is especially dangerous when driving in low visibility conditions such as rain, fog, snow or just darkness... we are nearly driving blind and trying to multitask with checking directions on our smart phones. That is when bad things happen. Indeed, based on official reports, 22% of all auto accidents happen because of a driver multitasking and/or low visibility conditions — that is 750 deaths a day worldwide.  
Automakers are certainly aware of this problem and they are looking for solutions. One of them — head-up displays (HUDs) — can significantly improve the situation. With HUDs, drivers see information they need right on the windshield, which allows them to be totally focused on the road at all times. They no longer need to look away from the road to read dashboard information or check directions on the phone. It allows drivers to focus on the road, keep their hands on the wheel and mind on driving.
 
 

Today, the market offers two main HUD options for cars:

 
To buy a new luxury car. There are more and more cars manufactured with built-in HUD displays. It is estimated that by 2020, 9% of all new cars will be equipped with HUD displays (currently it is just 4%). These HUDs have an excellent image quality and on-board computer integration. But they will cost you over $1,000 as an option.
To buy a portable HUD device. This is an aftermarket solution that can be purchased separately and simply placed before a driver’s eyes on the dashboard. This kind of device is often equipped with a display (or pico projector), sensors, special optics, and wires to connect to the car or just for charging. Although much cheaper than factory HUDs, these devices still cost about $400. 
We’re offering an alternative to these options. We’ve invented a car accessory for a smartphone that turns it into a head-up display. It contains no electronic components, and the phone is used as an image source — thus, we can make a HUD affordable for anyone. 
The crux is in the glass. It’s the main HUDWAY Glass component — a plastic lens, very lightweight and of low fragility, which means that cuts are unlikely even if it gets broken. The glass has an aspheric shape, which allows to get a 20% larger image while at the same time minimize spherical, comatic, and chromatic aberrations. In other words, when looking through the curved glass you still see the road as it is, with no distortions. 
But there’s more! A thin multilayered glass coating is a “secret sauce” of HUDWAY Glass — and its important feature. Its main purpose is to enhance the reflective properties of the glass and preserve its transparency, so that your view of the road is never obstructed.
Knowing that all vehicles are different, we realized we couldn’t offer a single universal mount to suit any car. Apart from variations in dashboard shapes and sizes, vehicles differ in drivers’ seating position. Even your height matters as it dictates the angle in which you look at the road. 
We made two simple dashboard mounts — one compact, the other — adjustable, allowing for a pretty wide range of the angle. Both mounts are equipped with magnets to firmly hold the cradle with your phone on it. At the same time, you can easily take it off the dashboard and place it back — even without looking.
We came to these design solutions after several tries of creating prototypes. Indeed, this is the best and most reliable way to thoroughly study any issue. We used home 3D printers for some of the intermediate prototypes. However, all major modifications were tested on the prototypes produced by  industrial printers. It allowed for excellent printing quality and accuracy — the prototypes margin of error against CAD blueprints was within 0.1%.
 

A special app for iOS and Android

 
Specifically for our backers, we’re developing an app with 6 screen options to use in head-up display mode — from a retro speedometer to a virtual bobble-head dog.
A special app (HUDWAY Glass Kickstarter edition app for iOS and Android).
 

One-year advertisement on the rally car

 
As we’ve mentioned, our co-founder Alex is a professional rally driver. His car is taking part in Europe Rally Championship 2016. It is a very big event well covered by the media. Here’s the list of tracks where the car will surely perform (more tracks may be added later):
Navigation systems available today are still proving to be unsafe, diverting driver attention and focus away from the most important task in driving – eyes on the road. Current navigation systems require that drivers read and interpret data and/or listen to audio commands which has been shown to take an average time of 5 seconds for a typical adult driver. Not surprising, it is 3 seconds more than what is considered a “safe-time” by various safety studies.
Keeping in line with proven safety studies by NASA and other government-sponsored research on driver safety technology, head-up display (HUD) based navigation technology has quickly become safer and more effective road guidance method. HUD navigation keeps drivers' visual attention on the road while being guided. It also eliminates auditory distraction, which can force a driver to shift attention from paying attention to visual cues to simply listening to directions and back, a proven distraction factor. In short, HUD-based systems can be much more intuitive in delivering navigational information than the traditional displays while keeping the driver safe.
 
References: 
 
"The Relative Frequency Of Unsafe Driving Acts In Serious Traffic Crashes" D. L. Hendricks, J. C. Fell and M. Freedman, a study sponsored by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
"Contributory Factors To Road Accidents" — Jonathan Mosedale, Andrew Purdy and Eddie Clarkson, a study by the United Kingdom Department for Transport 
"Keeping Eye and Mind on the Road" — Trent Victor, a study by the Uppsala University in Sweden. 
"Human Factors Aspects of Using Head Up Displays in Automobiles: A Review of the Literature" — Kenneth W. Gish and Loren Staplin, a study sponsored by the US NHTSA
 

Operating temperature: -22° to 176° F (-30° to 80° C)

When closed:
Height: 0.98 inches (25 mm) 
Width: 5.91 inches (150 mm) 
Depth: 4.33 inches (110 mm)
When opened, on a stand:
Height: 4.72 inches (120 mm) 
Width: 5.91 inches (150 mm) 
Depth: 3.74 inches (95 mm) 
Weight: 13.76 ounces (390 grams) 
Material: UV-durable hypoallergenic ABS- and PC-based plastics 
Adhesives: 3М adhesive, completely removable
 
What's in the box
 
Cradle base
Compact (low-profile) mount
Adjustable mount
Wiping cloth
Quick start guide
 
The founders of the project are Ivan and Alex — cousins who have been working and launching projects together for more than 10 years. In 2004, combining their skills and experience in sales, product development and engineering, they decided to join their passions and start their own IT company, operating worldwide. This company has since launched a dozen of successful products on the market. 
Ivan and Alex got their MBA degrees in 2013 from College of Business, University of Louisville, KY, USA. The HUDWAY project was born as their graduate qualification work.
The idea came from Alex’s professional hobby — rally racing. In rally, they have co-pilots for efficient navigation. But co-pilots are humans who can naturally make mistakes. Thus, for a stronger confidence, some additional cues would be helpful to pilots to verify the next maneuver. And when driving along a narrow forest track at 100 mph, pilots have absolutely no time to get distracted by navigation monitors.
First, we’ve developed an app for navigation in poor visibility conditions (hudwayapp.com) — and over one million people have tried it by now. This inspired us to start a new beginning — accessory production. In 2015, we’ve gone a long way from a mere idea to the first real samples that people are using already.  
And it wouldn’t have happened without our united team, where each person is a great specialist and a devoted teammate. We are proud of them, and would like to thank everyone for their solid work, commitment, and loyalty. 
 

Risks and challenges

 
We’ve been in software development for more than 12 years. We know quite everything about it, and have successfully launched products before. Yet, this project is a big challenge for all of us. We've never produced hardware before, and it's totally different from what we’re used to — way more expensive, and the development process may take years… To handle it, we have strengthened our team first. We were lucky to find experts in both hardware engineering and Kickstarter campaign management. Together we’ve been working for almost a year on engineering, industrial design, production, tests, revisions, and modifications. We’ve successfully manufactured the test batch of 100 samples, and are now sure we can go on to mass production in Taiwan.
However, when producing any hardware, unexpected issues may come up (production, sourcing, shipping, etc.). Our experts have experience dealing with these types of challenges. In addition, we have friendly support from the founders of successfully backed and shipped Kickstarter projects. We’ll keep you updated on our progress every step of the way. Thus, if any unexpected hurdles occur, you’ll be the first to know what’s going on and what we’re doing to address them. As a backer, you’ll get a full behind-the-scenes view of how we’re progressing here at Hudway as we start production of the Glass.
Finally, Irina says we should insert this paragraph on our page (and we kind of do what she says). When driving, please rely on your eyes only. Whether you use our apps or third party apps with HUDWAY Glass, location and roadway data may not be accurate or entirely up to date. When you get HUDWAY Glass, you agree to use it at your sole risk. Drive safe!