Heads-up Displays in Car Windshields: A Worthwhile Upgrade

Driver view of a vehicle equipped with a heads up display system.

A type of advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS), heads-up displays, or HUD technologies, are designed to reduce distractions and keep drivers focused on the road. HUD technologies project your rate of speed, the speed limit, and other information onto your windshield just above the dashboard. Available in an increasing number of new makes and models, HUDs are poised to become standard in the coming years.

What Is a Heads-up Display?

HUD systems beam a transparent display at eye-level onto your windshield. This allows you to gather speed, navigation, and other customized information without taking your eyes off the road. It may sound like a high-tech feature only available in luxury cars, but that’s not the case. Many makes, including Jeep and Toyota, now include HUD technologies on base models, or as an upgrade to premium car packages.

Related Topic: What You Need to Know About Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

How Does a Heads-up Display Work?

There are two common versions of HUD technologies. Heads-up displays in car windshields essentially turn the windshield into a screen using either a laser (to project an image) or a projector and a series of mirrors to reflect the image onto your windshield.

Standard HUD display technologies require:

  • A projector: To beam a reversed image of the information, such as your speed, the speed limit, navigation, and other customized information onto your windshield.

  • Mirrors: Like a reflecting telescope, the image bounces through a series of mirrors to magnify and flip it upright.

  • Rotating mirror: A rotating mirror makes it possible for you to use a toggle and adjust where the information appears on your windshield.


  • A laser: To shine HUD-applicable information onto your windshield.


  • The windshield: Your windshield becomes the screen for the information to display upright and legible. HUD-enabled windshields are often coated with a specialized compound containing nanophosphors, which allow the windshield to be used as a transparent screen.

Related Topic: The History of Auto Glass

Like ADAS, technologies like smart thermostats are designed to make life easier. Interested in upgrading your home HVAC system to a smart thermostat? Aire Serv, a Neighborly company installs and replaces smart thermostats.

Advantages of a Heads-up Display

HUD allows you to be less distracted while driving, improving reaction time.

It’s important to note that while integrated models (those with on-windshield displays) are the most advanced, less sophisticated HUD aftermarket retrofits are available for some makes and models.

Like ADAS, technologies like smart thermostats are also designed to make life easier. For example, replacing your current thermostat and installing a smart thermostat allows you to adjust temperature settings even when you’re not at home. This can help make your HVAC system operate more efficiently. Visit here to learn more.

HUD Windshield Replacement and ADAS Calibration Services

If your heads-up display-enabled windshield requires repair or replacement, it’s imperative that it be done with an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) parts. And make sure to have your advanced driver assistance system calibrated by a licensed technician.

At Glass Doctor, we’re experienced and equipped to replace all windshields and calibrate ADAS systems. So, when you need your windshield repaired or replaced, trust your local Glass Doctor to do the job right and to calibrate your ADAS system properly. To get started call (833) 974-0209 or request an job estimate online today.