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BMW announce laser lighting and HUD concepts at Las Vegas show

By Mario

Hemet Head Up Displays are all the rage right now, at least as concepts. BMW steps aboard the bandwagon, and showcases a K 1600 GTL with laser headlights, at this month’s Las Vegas bike show.

We’ve covered a few helmet designs with Head Up Displays (HUDs) in recent years. It’s a tempting trick, with obvious advantages, and it has been available in cars since 2003 (BMW were the first European manufacturer to fit it). Now BMW are presenting their version for ‘bikes. The company insist that ‘ all displays are freely programmable’ to ensure only relevant information is shown in the helmet view. There’s talk of front and rear cameras, speakers, GPS/Nav compatibility etc. The system has been fitted to an existing helmet in the range and the plan is to make it a retrofit rather  than rely on a whole new helmet design. All well and good, but does the helmet look enormous to you?

The Laser Lighting concept on the big ‘K’ seems very interesting. The system is already available on a couple of BMW’s cars, but the company warns that, at the moment, “the technology is still too cost-intensive for use in motorcycles.” That’s a shame, because if it’s as good as it’s claimed (600m range versus 300m at best with current headlights) it could make a real difference to safety at night. No word on how possums might react to it, though.