HUD helmets / modules - Kawasaki Versys Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 06:19 AM Thread Starter
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Lightbulb HUD helmets / modules

Hello everyone !

Here is an overview of what is offered currently on the market:
HUD helmets Feb-2019.pdf

Those devices start being delivered these days, with different solutions proposed:
  • fully integrated HUD helmets
  • HUD modules which can be integrated in your current helmet

Has any of you already experienced HUD helmets?
What do you think of these, are they an improvement to safety for you?


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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 08:10 AM
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I have not seen any of these firsthand in operation. But I may just be old school here. I do think a quick view of GPS would be helpful for some riders. Or a rear view camera. But too much distraction, or features, is not necessarily a benefit to the rider. This is observing automobile drivers trying to navigate their cell phones, GPS, and auto infotainment units while driving. Just depends how intuitive the features are to operate in realtime. If they actually deliver real benefits and increased safety for a rider. Then I am all for it. Thanks for sharing.

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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 09:07 AM
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I'm cautiously optimistic about the technology.

On one hand, HUDs have proven to be a great aid for, say, fighter pilots who have to keep tabs on multiple things at once - flying, navigating, carrying out the mission, communicating etc. They definitely are not distractions when done well. One could argue that riding a bike is not that dissimilar from flying a fighter jet.

On the other hand, when riding we usually don't have to operate the radar. Ideally it's just you and the road, maybe we don't even need that technology?

From experience, I can tell you I've crashed once due to looking for a riding buddy in the rear view mirror instead of looking ahead. Had I known he wasn't lost (say, saw his position presented to me clearly on the HUD), and kept my attention in front, I'd have easily avoided it. The cost of lost gear and the operation was probably more than the tech.

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 09:10 AM
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Dangerous imho. Speaking as an airline pilot, putting more information in front of your eyes is distracting. It requires a significant and intentional increase in attention. You need to keep a "scan" going, with your eyes moving from information point to information point. You can't keep this kind of attention for very long, and it necessarily reduces your ability to attend to other inputs such as auditory or vestibular (balance).

GPS information would simply be providing navigational aid to the rider. "Exit right in 1 mile". Putting this as text on a HUD would be distracting, especially since most of the time the information is not really needed.

Synthetic vision is something different and indeed could be helpful. But that is a long way into the future, and a very expensive technology. For example, identifying a stop sign ahead and highlighting it so the rider is alerted to it. Or using infrared cameras to identify obstructions in the dark ahead such as people or animals in the roadway. Even this technology could be a distraction, but at least the information has immediate safety implications.

Most of us, at least men, process information primarily visually. Adding more visual information will reduce our attention to other information already there which may be much more important than GPS.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 09:13 AM
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here's a little more info on the Shoei https://www.webbikeworld.com/shoeis-...ll-debut-2020/
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
Dangerous imho. Speaking as an airline pilot
Interesting perspective, have you had experience with HUDs in arliners? I hear some Airbuses got them now.

While I do agree that cluttering your FOV is dangerous, if you HAVE to consult some sort of instruments, I'd imagine it's better to have them in your viewport and focused to infinity instead of having to look down.
It's better to not have to look at any instruments at all and just scan the environment, sure, but sometimes you have to navigate through an unknown city and voice commands often don't cut it ("turn left where? there are three lefts within 50 meters here"). It's pointless to put "turn left in 1 mile" text on the HUD, but drawing an arrow or a waypoint overlayed on the pavement (augmented reality style) seems immediately readable without consuming mental or visual budget. That's like ILS bars drawn on the HUD during final approach. Or a flight path marker that shows your glide slope "visually" instead of having to look at a climb rate indicator and doing mental arithmetic - it's all a question of presentation IMHO.

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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
Dangerous imho. Speaking as an airline pilot
Speaking as a professional driver, I can confidently say having more relevant information available at the flick of an eye rather than a full turn of the head is far less distracting that the current method. All I really need in my face is my rear-view camera, GPS, speed/rpm and something to tell me if I need to look at another guage. Caller ID would be a nice touch too.

Once you've adjusted your thinking to interpret the added info, your brain will disregard it until needed. The advantage of not having to fully remove focus from the road to check any of the things I listed would be huge.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Big_Mac_ View Post
Interesting perspective, have you had experience with HUDs in arliners? I hear some Airbuses got them now.

While I do agree that cluttering your FOV is dangerous, if you HAVE to consult some sort of instruments, I'd imagine it's better to have them in your viewport and focused to infinity instead of having to look down. ..... - it's all a question of presentation IMHO.
Sorry for the long answer...

I've had limited exposure to HUDs. They are excellent for providing information immediately important to controlling the aircraft. However, I'll generalize on out to all of our flight instruments during complex operations - we don't look at all the data all the time. For a few seconds there is one most important piece of information. But once we verify it, another piece of information will become top priority. Some events are important to be notified of, which happens with either an aural alert (e.g. C chord for altitude) or a flashing icon on the display (e.g. capturing a course). Our visual awareness and mental processing of data is quite limited really, so I am relying on trends remaining what they have been and then sequentially checking different parameters to verify it. I cannot simultaneously attend to airspeed, altitude, vertical speed, lateral course (localizer), vertical course (glide slope), and position along the track.

During a complex procedure under busy conditions we will have our vision focused on the 2 screens directly in front of us, not out the windshield. A HUD simply displays this info while we are looking out the windshield. For the most part, we are either 100% focused on the instruments or we are 100% focused on the real world out the windshield. There is a minimal amount of cross checking between the 2, usually just related to one specific parameter. For example, once we transition to visual on an approach then the only information inside the cockpit of interest is the airspeed. A very quick glance down (the eyes know where to look) verifies it.

These operations take a lot of concentration and are fatiguing. You cannot fly all day like this.

Now when we're riding or driving, we are 99.9% interested in what is outside, not what our instruments are showing. We shift gears by sound and feel, not by looking at the tachometer. Once in a while we need to verify our speed. From a safety and operational perspective we have no need to have any information presented to us heads-up while riding/driving other than perhaps speed.

Very limited additional information could be helpful, but now we're into the realm of synthetic vision. In the real world, our technology will flood us with useless information. You may indeed not be sure which of the next 3 driveways to turn at, but your nav system isn't going to be silent except for that one piece of information. It is going to constantly bombard you with information. That's where I see the problem. People will be paying attention to what the GPS is painting on their HUD and not attending to the real world. And the vast majority of what is being painted on the HUD will be unnecessary.

Synthetic vision requires the system know precisely how your head and eyes are oriented in order to overlay onto your field of vision. Unlike a pilot who's head is in one precise position to use an aircraft HUD, a motorcyclist's head will be moving in all 3 dimensions. Motorcycle HUD systems will not be able to overlay a la synthetic vision at a price affordable by non-billionaires. The rider's eyes will have to move to view the HUD data, and will have to process it mentally. Perhaps it will be GPS instructions to turn ahead, or a notification that the speed limit is changing ahead, or traffic jam information. The rider will have to stop looking at the real world, and will have to use scarce brain resources to process the incoming HUD information.

Riders with HUDs will be no different than automobile drivers using screens in their cars. We've all seen distracted drivers looking at screens not at the road ahead. HUDs will turn motorcyclists into the same.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 01:25 PM
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Thanks for the long answer

I feel like it's still a matter of getting it right vs selling a fancy product. What I mean is, for example the JSF seems to has exactly what's proposed for bikes - a helmet mounted HUD that doesn't track eye movements (I believe). One of its objectives is targeting smart weapons, but the main thing is increased situational awareness. I suppose they made loads of research into this.
Bad SA happens during motorcycling too, now that I think of it, my second crash was also due to looking somewhere else instead of straight ahead (shoulder check, truck in front stopped). Whatever helps me intuitively grasp what's going on around me is a help.
It might require training (like the military stuff) but so does motorcycling in general.

The key question is whether the makers of those devices will study cognitive psychology, learn from the aviation experience and refine to present us something that informs but doesn't detract, works WITH our limited mental space rather than AGAINST it, or will they just put Facebook and useless crap.

I can definitely see the dangers of those HUDs connecting directly with smartphones and relaying "you've got mail!" notifications... On the other hand, who hasn't forgotten about turning an indicator off because the blinking green arrow was out of view? Or the nervousness of trying to navigate through an unknown city while fighting for survival in heavy traffic and coordinating with other riders in group? There are definitely areas where we can use help, it just has to be done right and in moderation.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 04:17 PM
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So, I don't know if you all realize this or not...

Flying and driving are not the same. I flunked out of flight school, so my experience there is limited. I also rode my first motorcycle there, and I have over a million miles DRIVING trucks in addition to my hundreds of thousands of bike miles and couple of million car miles.

I believe certain aspects of each can relate to others, but the primary arguments I'm seeing here are not relatable.

Here's what I want in a head-up display for motorcycle:

Rear view. I saw a video with this just last night and started waving it in front of my wife.
GPS data. I really don't want a splashy GPS display, just next turn distance, direction, and street name. No graphics, please.
Ground speed and tach. Maybe a gear indicator, since I'm always hunting for 7th and can't hear anything but wind at that speed.

That's it.

Car drivers mess with their screens because they have them in front of them. Motorcycle riders with big TFT displays mess with them at nearly ever stop light. I drive a truck for a living. I see everything.

Prius drivers are worse than 3-Series drivers, but only because they aren't aware of the problems they are causing (I didn't need to add this here, it was just for fun).

Head-up displays should enhance safety. Give me only the pertinent information I've listed above, and this new tech will do exactly that.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 05:38 PM
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What's pertinent between flying and riding is my experience with all of the information a HUD could provide to a rider, and how our brain capacity is insufficient to attend to all of it at once. The only information needed to safely operate a motorcycle is what one sees naturally. Everything else is nice but not necessary.

We sometimes glance at our speedometer, but even that is not necessary for safe riding. The threats to us are other motorists, animals, debris on the roadway, traffic signals, corners, children darting into the roadway, etc. Knowing how many tenths of a mile until your next turn is not a safety issue. And, for the vast majority of non-professional drivers we have almost zero need for GPS assistance in getting to our destination. Even if we are touring on our bikes we can easily remember the next exit number off of the freeway we're looking for. Motorists navigated quite successfully for a century without GPS.

The main point is that any distraction from watching the road ahead causes a significant increase in risk to the motorcyclist. This includes looking down at a handlebar mounted GPS or tankbag mounted paper map. As a professional trucker you've seen people unnecessarily distracting themselves at dangerous times, and that is what a helmet mounted HUD would lead to for the vast majority of motorcyclists. It's just human nature to fiddle with the gee-whiz tech. Out on an empty road while riding at leisurely speeds it won't overload the brain, but in traffic the additional data necessarily will rob the rider's attention from the primary task.

I'm not suggesting it be outlawed. Develop it, sell it, or buy it if that is what you want. I am certain there will be many accidents caused by HUDs. If a rider can, and does, configure the display for a minimum of information displayed to be helpful in reducing distraction then it will indeed be a positive. I just don't see the products or users going the minimalist route with it, they'll have all kinds of graphics flashing, moving, and demanding their attention to read it.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-15-2019, 08:12 PM
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My thoughts....if one needs all that junk then they should either stay at home or drive their car.

Heck, look at all the crashes just because of texting and driving! We just had a 10 year old girl, crossing the street going to school get hit here in the Tampa area. She had the "Walk" sign, she did everything right...yet dude was texting and ran the red light.

I dunno...for me riding is therapy to get me away from all the tech junk. On occasion I'll use my Sena to listen to music but haven't used that thing for months! I have no GPS as I go by knowledge or "feeling", unless I get really lost I will pull over and use my cell phone.

Other than that, I kind of like simple.

Heck, literally in a split-second, things can get bad! So taking your concentration away from the road can be deadly. I think these HUD things do just that. Just because your eyes are looking "through" the screen doesn't mean you brain is comprehending.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Fly-Sig View Post
Now when we're riding or driving, we are 99.9% interested in what is outside, not what our instruments are showing.
I agree wholeheartedly. C-17s have HUDs. They're an incredible asset to the pilot, making an enormous and highly capable machine intuitive and easy-to-use even at the most stressful of times in the worst of conditions with the smallest margins for error.

That said, we can easily become over-reliant on them, and our situational awareness can really suffer at times. Sometimes the best thing you can do is move your head to the side for a second (to look out the window without the HUD overlay) to re-cage your perspective--all that data sometimes gets in the way of the simple truth that there's an "outside" that is more important than all of those little green lines.

But the truth is, our motorcycles aren't "enormous and highly capable machines." There just isn't much data they can give us that require monitoring or attention, and anything that could be overlayed on an augmented reality HUD setup would just be distracting noise that you didn't need before and you don't need now. Nothing they could present a rider with would be worth the risk of distracting you from what's outside.

Even something as benign as an arrow overlayed on the roadway to show me my exit... Honestly, I'd rather see the road conditions under that arrow than the graphic covering them up. Speedometer readout? What's wrong with the age-old 1/2-second glance downward? Optimal shift points indication? Come on. Lean angle display? LOL!

Last point: personally, one of my top priorities in motorcycle and gear design is fatigue reduction. If you are more fatigued, you are less safe (and are having less fun). A huge component of fatigue reduction is helmet design--every ounce of added weight and complexity means a whole lot to those little neck muscles over a long ride. If I can trade a neat overlayed navigational arrow for a lighter and more comfortable helmet, I'll do it in a heartbeat!
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-16-2019, 09:47 PM
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So I buy a $1000 helmet with the fancy HUD.... every 4 -5 years? Guess I am not baller enough to throw that kind of money around. Or if you are like me you change helmets every year because of the funk from riding in 120deg weather everyday.

If it were a Sena type system for $1000 and knew I could swap it from helmet to helmet Id be onboard.
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-18-2019, 08:15 AM
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More industry news about HUD helmets. They sure are the buzz this year. Will they be next years flop? I'm not a bleeding edge guy for this sort of tech and I'll sit on the sidelines for 3-5 years before I would even consider one.
https://www.webbikeworld.com/forcite...-smart-helmet/
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post #16 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
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If it were a Sena type system for $1000 and knew I could swap it from helmet to helmet Id be onboard.
I agree
To me the ideal would be an adaptable system which fits your current (and future) helmet, below $600 to minimize the price gap with usual GPS.

Here is another piece of info about HUD's, even if it is not specificly related to motorbikes: http://www.mvs.net/pdf/Human_Factors_of_HUDs.pdf

Here is the abstract of this document:
Quote:
This document provides an overview of studies investigating the use of HUDs by aviators and drivers, including a summary of HUD research variables, test procedures and study results.
The predicted performance advantages of automotive HUDs include increased eyes-on-the-road time and reduced reaccommodation time, particularly for the older driver. To date, the research does not provide robust evidence for operationally significant performance advantages due to HUDs.
However, conclusions are equivocal due to the interaction of independent variables such as workload, display complexity and age.
Studies indicate that key operator performance issues with HUDs include contrast interference, where HUD symbology masks safety-critical targets in the forward driving scene, and cognitive capture, or degradation of responses to external targets due to the processing of information from a HUD image.
In general, the review supports and extends earlier findings that HUD information cannot be processed separately from external roadway information.
Countermeasures reviewed in this paper include the use of conformal symbology, and auditory HUDs.
The review identifies a number of implementation issues for automotive HUDs:
(1) reliable measures of the effect of HUD use on responses to priority external targets must be obtained, under realistic operating conditions;
(2) practical considerations of cost, size, and adaptability (...) and
(3) driver age and associated visual/cognitive performance differences which are commonly linked to safe vehicle operation must be taken into account during product design, development, and testing.
2-3 pieces of information max. at a time could be a careful option.

To me not having to look down for speed (frequent controls), GPS/roadmap (e.g. next immediate turn within 1000m distance), plus being warned of dangers ahead (accident, dangerous turn, etc.), would be a good option, provided the system's weight is limited.

My ears can take care of the RPM, and I would appreciate if my eyes could still take care of the landscape without being overrunned by invasive information.
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Last edited by Elcodigo; 02-21-2019 at 09:14 AM.
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post #17 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 09:50 AM
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2-3 pieces of information max. at a time could be a careful option.
Yeah absolutely agree. More info is not always better. But the ability to display what you want is the key. So you can switch from commuter mode where you would have the GPS turn by turn (next turn in X miles type stuff) then switch over to showing RPM and speed for a known twisty road route you want to improve your riding on.

Im kind of interested in the rear view camera display ones, Id sure like to try that for a week.
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post #18 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 12:46 PM
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I've been paying particular attention to what holds my attention longest on the road this week. It's definitely mirrors. They take me furthest from the road ahead, and for a much greater period of time than anything else.

Second, oddly... is my instant mpg display. Third is speed, but those two are switched in the immediate presence of law enforcement.

So, I guess I'd go for the rear view camera first, if I could only choose one feature or display. The video I saw that had that placed the display at the top of the visor. That made a lot of sense to me.

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post #19 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 01:49 PM
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...Second, oddly... is my instant mpg display....
Try leaving that display on RANGE - IMHO, it's much more useful!
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post #20 of 21 (permalink) Old 02-21-2019, 04:30 PM
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Try leaving that display on RANGE - IMHO, it's much more useful!
I switch to range when I'm trying to get either home or to work without stopping for fuel.

For me, having a target mpg to shoot for helps me remain aware of my throttle use.

I'm thinking I might tap into the "economy" indictator wire and have it light an LED somewhere on the dash at some point. Just an idea I'm kicking around.

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