There’s a reason Head-Up Display (HUD) technology first appeared in fighter jets a few decades ago: in this highly responsive environment, projecting critical info onto a windshield canopy allowed pilots to quickly absorb and respond to speed and navigation data without having to glance down at instruments. This ultimately helped make them better, faster decision makers and more efficient pilots.
For years, Lexus engineers have recognized these advantages in the driving environment. Much of your own Lexus cockpit stems from countless hours of research into what’s called Human-Machine Interaction (HMI), which basically means that Lexus designs its cockpits to unify the driver and vehicle in natural ways, such as carefully placing controls and buttons so they minimize human movements.
Obviously, projecting driving-related info on the windshield—conveniently close to a natural driving-eye level—embodies the HMI philosophy, which is why Lexus has devoted considerable engineering time to fine-tuning its advanced HUD systems (available in select models):
For starters, there’s the size of Lexus HUD systems: Recently, Lexus has designed HUD displays to help maximize the windshield’s available space, which puts a wider array of data into the driver’s field of vision. (One example: the optional HUD system in the 2019 LS features a large 24-inch projection area.) Turning the windshield into a substantial onboard information screen has allowed Lexus engineers to help increase the types of data projected, which, depending on the model, include basic functionality like speed, fuel level, and shift position to advanced data from the audio, navigation, and safety systems.
Color and graphics: Lexus windshield data has also gone far beyond letters and numbers by also employing intuitive, colorful visual effects. The Lexus LS 500 HUD system, for example, uses arrows and lane markers to indicate appropriate lanes to follow at junctions and intersections, and the Lexus LC displays a vivid blue pathway to indicate the vehicle’s forward path of travel.
Safety systems integration: Lexus also integrates its head-up display with key vehicle safety systems. For example, the 2019 ES HUD system projects certain road signs on the windshield as you approach them, which is a safety feature in the vehicle’s optional Road Sign Assist (RSA) system. And the LS HUD is one of the first to connect with the Pedestrian Alert and Front Cross-Traffic Alert systems, which are designed to help detect and warn you if a vehicle or pedestrian is on a trajectory to collide with the vehicle.
Thoughtful arrangement: Of course, to be a convenience, windshield data must be carefully arranged to complement the driver’s field of vision (and not obstruct it), which is an area in which Lexus has also focused development time. Case in point: Because drivers actually look beyond the windshield when traveling, and not at the glass itself, the LS 500’s virtual projection data appears to hang about three meters beyond the windshield to account for your natural driving focus. Plus, Lexus HUD systems adapt to ambient light conditions, and are designed for brightness and readability in daylight conditions.
Customization: Lexus HUD systems are also adjustable. As some people are taller than others, a HUD-equipped vehicle driver can adjust the projection screen’s visual angle for maximum comfort—no need to hunch down or stretch up to see a Lexus HUD comfortably. (Lexus Technology Specialists are always available to show drivers how to adjust their HUD displays.)
By Brian Gill
 Be sure to obey traffic regulations and maintain awareness of road and traffic conditions at all times. Availability & accuracy of the information provided by the Navigation System is dependent upon many factors. Use common sense when relying on information provided. Services & programming subject to change. Services not available in every city or roadway. Updates may be available from your dealer at an additional cost. See Owner’s Manual for details.
 Do not rely exclusively on Road Sign Assist (RSA). RSA is a driver support system that utilizes the vehicle's forward-facing camera and Navigation System (when data is available) to recognize certain road signs and provide information to the driver via the multi-information display and/or Head-Up Display. Effectiveness is dependent on road, weather, vehicle and sign conditions. Use common sense when using RSA and do not drive distracted. See Owner's Manual for additional limitations and details.
 The Pedestrian Detection System is designed to detect a pedestrian or a bicyclist ahead of the vehicle, determine if impact is imminent and help reduce impact speed. It is not a substitute for safe and attentive driving. System effectiveness depends on many factors, such as speed, size and position of pedestrians, and weather, light and road conditions. See Owner's Manual for additional limitations and details.
 Do not overly rely on the Front Cross-Traffic Alert system. Always visually confirm that it is safe to proceed. There are limitations to the function, detection and range of the system. See Owner's Manual for additional limitations and details.
 LSS+ drivers are responsible for their own safe driving. Always pay attention to your surroundings and drive safely. System effectiveness is dependent on many factors including road, weather and vehicle conditions. See Owner's Manual for additional limitations and details.