Car audio manufacturer Pioneer may have just unveiled the next big thing in car-infotainment systems by unveiling a head unit that not only doubles as a navigation system but also enhances the information it provides through the use of augmented reality (AR).
Pioneer calls its AR technology as AR Scouter Mode and, unlike the AR we featured in the December 2010 issue of Top Gear Philippines, the additional information doesn't virtually pop out of the 7-inch screen but appears superimposed over the video captured by a specific-model camera made by Pioneer, of course.
The system works by having a camera mounted on the windshield and then wirelessly connecting it to the AVIC-VH09CS head unit. Once both devices are hooked up, the AR system then works by identifying vehicles, traffic lights, streets and other real-world landmarks to help the driver navigate through traffic.
According to Pioneer, since the navigation system uses live-action footage, not only is the distance to the vehicle in front calculated by the system, it also shows the driver which specific lane to take, helps identify the color of the traffic light as well as identify the landmarks on his or her route.
Unfortunately for us, the AR-equipped Pioneer head unit will be offered in only Japan later this month. That's just as well as the last thing we need is more distracted drivers on our roads.