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Terrestrial Traffic Mixed Reality Navigation

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - DRIVER GLASS (Terrestrial Traffic Mixed Reality Navigation)

Reporting period: 2017-12-01 to 2018-03-31

Aero Glass Kft. Core Business within Driver Glass project is to implement and launch into the market our vision of MR navigation solutions for various automotive manufacturing segments (e.g. passenger cars, AVs). Driver Glass project started for the purpose to contribute in improving traffic awareness and road safety by minimizing accidents, considering that current in-vehicle navigation assistance solutions (LCD-based) on the market are still involved in drivers´ cognitive distractions. Aero Glass Kft. is committed to contribute in the improvement of overall road safety, devising Driver Glass as part of broader company strategy of inserting itself into relevant market of vehicles navigation. We already have presence in aviation market, via MR navigation solution for aircraft pilots; now we have developed Driver Glass: our ground vehicles system. Drivers will perceive several inputs projected into their windscreen, superposing MR images over the actual real-life view. The system will provide drivers with unobstructed 360º full 3D vision, enhancing overall safety and info alert level. Currently, sensor-based ADAS are being incorporated by OEMs, while they and several automakers are developing AR-based navigation solutions however, they are yet to be proven to work in a moving car, and “AR” term is used for marketing purpose. To reach the market, the plan is to identify OEMs with whom we will strike agreements to integrate the system with their components (dashboard, cockpit, V2X, ADAS, etc.), providing a ready-to-insert solution to automakers. Through Phase 2, we aim to 1) revamp & internally validate the head-tracking technology of the system following several approaches not needing large spatial requirements, as current Driver Glass technology is based upon a marker-based hardware that potentially harms the car interior design. 2) Integrate the optimized solution with OEMs’ components, enabling us to fully validate the system. 3) CE Marking. 5) Start of the commercialization process by 2020, by starting to reach agreements with OEMs enabling a marketed Driver Glass to reach market uptake through automakers. Through Driver Glass sales, Aero Glass Kft. is expecting to generate, by 2024, €40.3M of revenues, €2.9M of profit and ROI of 3.62.
The main objective of this FS was to ensure that Driver Glass meets the technical, commercial & financial requirements for its successful implementation and commercialization. Technical results: 1) Optimized heading accuracy, achieving 0.2° in a moving car, to confer precise MR & safe users’ experience. 2) Optimized head-tracking software for further data synchronization, with current technology based upon backlight markerboard connected to smart glasses. 3) Optimized optical marker-tracking and algorithms improvement for better image quality. 4) Optimization of visual content layout and software for further industrial adaptation, implementing input for surrounding elements (lanes, pedestrians, geo-references, etc.) and virtual input such as “follow-me” car for natural users’ experience.
Commercial results: 1) European passenger cars market stands at 14.6M sold units, valued at €614.4M from global market of 78.6M valued at €315.3B. 2) European autonomous vehicles market stands at 48M global shipments, valued at €79.7M. 3) AR automotive market is valued at €2.4B while AR automotive market size by function stands at €1.1T with over 2.5M units in the market. 4) For commercial deployment, we will reach commercial agreements with OEMs to integrate Driver Glass with their components to enter the automotive supply chain. 5) Based on signed NDA with BMW, for potential commercial collaboration, our sales forecast built around BMW shows an obtainable market of 1.76% of BMW market share of 4.2% from total automotive industry.
Financial results: Driver Glass will be sold as software/API as CAPEX system priced at €1,500/unit. In a 5-years commercialization: we are expecting to sell 2,500 units by 2020 and 11,200 units by 2024; generating revenues of €40.3M of revenues, €2.9M of profit and ROI of 3.62; with required investment of around €2M.
The Novelty of Driver Glass Innovation provides MR vehicle navigation system that provides drivers optical combination of physical (real) and virtual elements around them using an all-around 3D/360° visualization, through head worn smart glasses or with windscreen projections. By optimal road assistance provided, drivers reach their destination safely while constantly receiving precise MR overlay on top of reality and real-time data about their environment, their distance from any proximate object (vehicles, obstacles, pedestrians), directional indications, even in low visibility conditions (rain, fog). Current commercial Solutions rely majorly on traditional LCD display-based navigation technology (e.g. GPS navigator), and HUD on the bottom part of the windscreen. HUDs only work when looking forward and do not overlay the information displayed on the real artifacts they depict. Driver Glass works in an all-around 360° manner and also displays information through blind spots. Currently, there are no existing vehicle MR navigation technologies, albeit there are some concepts created by various car manufacturers with no technological solution that realize these concepts. In parallel, there are R&D projects undergone by OEMs, between automotive suppliers and car manufacturers. Automotive suppliers Harman, Continental AG and Visteon all unveiled AR systems that project information into the driver’s field of view. Harman uses digital overlays to convey speed and braking information of other vehicles on the road and insert prominent street-sign graphics into the field of view to help with navigation. Meanwhile, Continental AG, working with projection technology specialist DigiLens, showed its system for projecting AR data onto the windshield itself, obviating the need for headgear. Visteon’s system demonstrated a sensor-driving HUD that projects warnings of possible vehicular and pedestrian obstacles onto the windshield. Harman, Continental and DigiLens use AR as marketing statement, in fact none of their solutions are AR. The visuals do not match/overlay reality behind them. They still need to transpose the images HUD on bottom of the windscreen to the road ahead, however they still have not reach this technical stage. As for car manufacturers, Jaguar created an AR/MR concept without any technology behind the concept. BMW have reached internal results, but still unable to apply it in a moving car. It consists of a system that uses ODG glasses to pop-up navigation directions, text messages, and X-ray vision right into the driver’s eyeballs. The latter feature works by projecting camera feeds from outside the car into the glasses. In 2017, BMW showed off its “Vision Next 100” concept car, including an AR-enhanced windshield that flags obstacles and provides data streams that completely replace the dashboard instrumentation. The company has not disclosed any specific rollout plans, but is confident in this system potential positioned to advance human-operated transportation. VW is starting with a VR project dedicated for trucks assistance, but their concept will only work in a stationary (non-moving) vehicle.
Aero Glass logo
Driver Glass MR concept