I like the whole idea of a head-up display, or HUD. It is, without a doubt, one of the coolest pieces of technology to have trickled down to cars. I remember experiencing it for the first time in a F10 BMW M5, back in 2013, and momentarily feeling like a fighter pilot taking off in an F-16 Falcon. In reality, I was in a glorified four-door sedan, making my way through Bombay traffic.
Needless to say, a head-up display is a great spectacle, something that adds a bit of drama into a mundane drive. More crucially, it also ups the safety quotient somewhat by projecting driving-related info onto the windshield, just below the driver’s line of sight. Luckily, you don’t need to spend big money on a car to have an HUD, thanks to the world of aftermarket solutions. A company called Roger Motors has come up with a head-up display to reduce driver distraction by projecting engine RPM and actual speed. It’s a plug and play device which can be connected to any car through OBD II interface. Here’s how it works.
This particular head-up display, called Roger Up View, includes a compact dashboard unit with a rubberised finish. On top of it you will find an array of LEDs (all blue when lit) for text. Note that the text on the unit is displayed in reverse for the LEDs to reflect onto the windshield. As for the rest of the bits inside the box, you get an OBD cable, a sticky pad and a manual.
Installing and connecting the HUD to the car is a simple task. You place the main unit onto the sticky pad which goes on top of the dash, behind the instrument panel. Next up, connect one end of the cable to the HUD and the other end to the 16-pin OBD port – in most cars the latter can be found within the driver side foot well. Finally, turn on the ignition and hey presto, the device will turn on automatically. In case it doesn’t give any readout once you are moving, press and hold the calibration switch till the display flashes.
Once its connected, you can move the sticky pad and set it at any position, ideally over a flat surface. Floating above the dash, the reflection from the LEDs can be set directly in the driver’s line of sight and because of the transparent glass, the HUD doesn’t obscure vision at all. The light blue coloured image is more than bright enough when its dark outside though we would like to add that there is an ambient light sensor inbuilt to regulate the intensity of LEDs depending on lighting condition. That said, it’s daytime performance isn’t as impressive – under the sun, it had a hard time reflecting engine RPM and speed but in all fairness, that’s the case with even some of the OEM HUDs. As for display clarity, we did spot a bit of ‘double image’ while testing which is down to the fact that the LEDs reflect from both the inner and outer surface of the glass.
All in all, the Roger Up View is a great piece of technology, one that helps keep eyes on the road but at Rs 5,850 it is slightly on the pricier side. In case you aren’t dissuaded and looking for a cool gadget that also boosts safety, you can get one through the official website by clicking here.
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi