The special thing about the Way Ray hologractor concept car is not its exterior. The gullwing doors and the distinctive fin are noticeable over a length of 4.4 meters, but otherwise the car looks like a relatively normal car. It looks different inside: The single seat in the back is placed like Captain Kirk’s command chair and, with its two joysticks, resembles a player’s chair for the Playstation.
That’s the point. The core of the Way Ray is infotainment and, in particular, the use of augmented reality. With a head-up display, Way Ray achieves holographic displays that are not only limited to a small area of the windshield, but also fit seamlessly into the entire real environment of the vehicle.
A zebra crossing or an ambulance crossing the lane is pointed out, as well as shops or people who have just published something on social networks. Explanations about buildings or other information or interactions with people are also part of the technology. A real-looking video conference? No problem.
Start-up Way Ray: Porsche and Hyundai have already invested
The second special feature of the system: Compared to current head-up displays, the technology only takes up about a tenth of the space. Car manufacturers such as Porsche and Hyundai as well as the Chinese Internet company Alibaba, who have joined Way Ray, are already convinced of this. The first systems are to come onto the market from premium manufacturers in just two years, and the volume manufacturers will have their turn two years later. “This holography is a disruptive technology,” explains Vitaly Ponomarev.
The basis for this technology is a compact laser that is built into the underbody of the car and that sends an RGB signal to the Picture Generating Unit (PGU), which is located in the dashboard. The “cerebrum” then projects the graphics into the passengers’ field of vision. “Not in a given area, but almost everywhere. Practically from zero to infinity,” says Vitaly Ponomarev happily.
According to Ponomarev, passengers do not have to worry about dizziness. The elements should be reproduced extremely precisely, including the incidence of light. The whole thing should be so realistic that dizziness shouldn’t be an issue.