Trams to be fitted with head-up displays

EUROPE: Head-up display technology originally developed for cars has been adapted for light rail applications by Continental Engineering Services, which is planning a first deployment later this year.

Continental head-up display.

CES said the trend towards larger cab windows with low-set dashboards means that tram drivers must make frequent head movements which can distract their attention from the road ahead, while the constant switching between near and far vision can be tiring. The HUD uses a transparent screen in the driver’s field of vision to show information such as signal aspects, speed and distance to the next stop. This is displayed as if it were located at some distance in front of the vehicle, removing the need for the driver to refocus constantly.

CES believes that the technology could be installed on trams from any manufacturer and retrofitted to existing vehicles, and could also be used on long-distance trains. Key components including the LED light source are already used by various car manufacturers.

‘With the development of a head-up display for trams, we are taking a major step toward greater safety in urban rail transport’, said General Manager Dr Christoph Falk-Gierlinger. ’Information previously displayed on different cab instruments can now be placed in the driver’s field of vision via a central head-up display. Their view is not distracted from the traffic. The journey will become safer for tram drivers and passengers.’