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bosch 3d car screen

Bosch tests 3D hazard displays in cars as MPs ponder hands-free phone ban

Image credit: bosch

Bosch is testing passive 3D displays for vehicles that the company says will alert drivers about hazards in a faster way than conventional screens.

While 3D displays have been used for films in the past to enhance their entertainment value, a depth of field effect in a car could allow drivers to grasp important visual information faster, whether from an assistance system or a traffic-jam alert.

According to Bosch, drivers will not need to wear glasses to see the 3D effects in action and screens will not limit viewers to looking from a specific position.

“Alerts that seem to jump out of the display are much more obvious and urgent.” said Dr Steffen Berns, president of the company's Car Multimedia division.

The technology can also be used to transmit a more realistic rear-view camera image, which the company claims will show drivers potential obstacles and give a better idea of the amount space they have to manouevre.

In addition, it could improve navigation guidance by better highlighting navigation landmarks to make turning points clearer to understand.

“Displays are increasingly becoming interactive systems that can better anticipate drivers’ individual needs,” Dr Berns added.

“There is huge business potential for Bosch here.”

The new screen system in addition to the car’s “infotainment” platforms will be controlled through one cockpit computer in comparison to current vehicles which can make use of as many as 15 back-end processing units.

The smaller number of controls promises to decrease the weight of the whole system and reduce vehicle development times, and the car will receive over-the-air updates.

Meanwhile, MPs are considering ban the use of mobile phones in hands-free mode while driving.

Current laws ban the use of devices being held by drivers, but concerns have been raised that this gives a “misleading impression” that hands-free use is safe despite it creating “the same risks of a collision,” a report published by the Commons Transport Select Committee warned.

The cross-party committee acknowledged that there would be practical challenges to criminalising hands-free phone use and enforcing the offence, but insisted “this does not mean that we should not do it”.

It recommended that the Government should explore options for extending the current ban on hand-held mobiles and publish a public consultation on the issue by the end of 2019.

In 2017, there were 773 casualties on Britain’s roads - including 43 deaths and 135 serious injuries - in crashes where a driver using a mobile was a contributory factor.

The committee said the number of people killed or seriously injured in such accidents has risen steadily since 2011 but the rate of enforcement of the law regarding phone use has plunged by more than two-thirds over the same period.

Since March 2017, motorists caught using a hand-held phone have faced incurring six points on their licence and a £200 fine - up from the previous penalty of three points and £100.

A Department for Transport spokeswoman said: “While mobile phones are a vital part of modern life and business, drivers must always use them safely and responsibly.

“Being distracted by a mobile phone while driving is dangerous and puts people’s lives at risk. The law is clear that anyone driving dangerously is committing a criminal offence.”

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