Plenty of you reading this probably spend an hour or more driving each day. Some of you will have gotten into traffic accidents, too, and will therefore know that a moment of inattention is sometimes all it takes.
The concept of a Head-Up Display (HUD) originated in military aviation where, it was realized, a pilot checking a dozen or more gauges on his console couldn’t simultaneously see what was in front of him. HUDs were found to be highly effective at reducing accidents, so it’s no surprise that the same idea is now being applied to cars. However, unlike with factory-fitted HUDs, third-party models that show things like RPM, fuel consumption, and radiator temperature don’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Unlike with most car HUDs, this display is actually in five colors, making it much easier to keep an eye on your speed and other factors without having to specifically focus on them. Visual and auditory alarms will ensure that you’re immediately aware of engine malfunctions, and it will remind you to take a break once in a while. “Road hypnosis” is a real thing, and it turns out that driving while fatigued is just as dangerous as taking the wheel while drunk.
Overall, we actually prefer this product even over more expensive options. Some of the latter offer only a basic display, while others have a separate, see-through screen instead of being a true HUD. Like with these, though, your car has to be OBD II compatible, basically meaning that its engine can talk to other electronics. This should be the case for most models less than a decade old.
As with many new electronic products, there are a couple of snags. Setting up the unit is a fairly complicated process and the documentation (the English version, anyway) is less than clear. You’re required to stick a special optical film, which is visible from the outside, to the appropriate part of the windshield. Most importantly, it does not have GPS functionality, which is exactly what many city drivers will want from a HUD.
It also works only in liters, not gallons, so if your mental arithmetic isn’t up to multiplying by four, buy something else instead (it can, however, switch between miles and kilometers).
If these fairly minor flaws don’t bother you too much and price is important to you, though, you would struggle to find a better product.