updated 03:49 pm EST, Thu January 9, 2014
Garmin HUD+ is made to enhance safety, minimize driver distraction
The heads-up display will pair with smartphones over Bluetooth -- and thanks to a free app available for Android, iOS, and Windows Phone devices will display driving directions, estimated times of arrival, and lane guidance. The app can also offer content such as live traffic updates, though that will cost extra.
Users will have the option of looking at reflected images on the built-in reflective window or applying the supplied windshield film and removing the clip-on window. The intention of the device is to help keep driver's eyes on the road and not fiddling with their smartphone, which has been shown to be as distracting as drunk driving in terms of causing accidents.
The two Dash Cams on display are meant to witness incidents and bad drivers by recording the road ahead. It can be set to record onto a supplied 4GB media card in WVGA, 720p, or 1080p quality. It does require the use of at least Class 10 cards, however. A g-sensor will detect high-G incidents such as panic braking or collisions and save the previous four minutes, current four minutes, and the future four minutes for a 12-minute snapshot of the situation automatically, we were told. The 2.3-inch screen isn't touch enabled, with control instead done by four hardware buttons.
An integrated microphone allows for recording sounds in the cab as well, and the device can take still photos of the accident damage from the outside. A windshield suction cap is provided. A battery is built-in, but it only allows for about an hour of recordings. Instead, the idea is to have it plugged into the 12V power socket, which also triggers the power and begins recording automatically so drivers don't need to worry about powering it up every single time. The GPS-outfitted Dash Cam 20 will also save latitude, longitude, date, time, speed, and direction of travel as well, for even more metrics.
The HUD+ will cost $180, and the Dash Cam will run $220 or $250 with the GPS sensor. All three are due out in February.