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Microsoft and Volkswagen innovating futuristic driving experience

Microsoft and Volkswagen are collaborating on the next innovation in driving. Microsoft HoloLens 2 and Mixed Reality may be the key to your next futuristic driving experience. By now we all know about and have seen a self-driving car on the road. While in use the technology is not perfect and there are still accidents and rogue self-driving car incidents. Even with the self-driving feature these cars still require an active driver supervision and is not considered an autonomous ride.

Who knows if we will ever get to a fully autonomous car? In the meantime, Microsoft and Volkswagen are working on the next iteration of driving where Mixed Reality and Holograms are used to replace screens, other physical buttons, and enhance the safety of everyone on the road. This is all possible thanks to the new moving platform feature of the HoloLens. (For more info on this feature check out our blog post about this new feature.) Prior to this feature the use of mixed reality and holograms in moving conditions would result in shaky and unstable environment.

Now everything is in users’ field of view while their eyes are on the road. GPS directions, climate controls, and the speedometer will be in front of drivers and help keep the users’ eyes on the road. Rather than confusing GPS directions and looking down at a screen the directions will be overlayed in the user’s field of view. Instead looking down to see the speed or to change the temperature of the car users will be able to that while their eyes are still on the road.

The potential of mixed reality and holographic overlays goes far beyond keeping drivers’ eyes focused on the road. The project includes key warnings like whenever a pedestrian is on the road. We can already imagine other scenarios such as a nighttime driving mode to help drivers see in the dark and provide warnings. Key indicators that already are in used will be enhanced like blind spot warning. The use of this technology will improve the safety for everyone.

In a scene out of the movie Black Panther, this technology will allow for a remote driver to step in when needed. A camera will monitor drivers and notice if they are enabled to operate the car. An automatic switch will a remote driver to stop the car but move it to safety protecting everyone on the road. This is not limited to automotive vehicles, but applicable for planes and boats.

While still not ready for market this project screams major potential to make daily driving easier and safer.