Wing Commander Robert Hierl, test pilot for the Technical and Airworthiness Center for Aircraft located just outside Munich, Germany, relies on heads-up display technology to deliver flight-relevant data at eye level directly within his field vision, so that absorbing the information doesn’t interrupt his concentration while he’s rocketing through the air at 500 miles per hour. BMW has been using the same heads-up technology in its 5 Series since 2004, becoming the first European carmaker to adapt the system for use in volume-production vehicles. BMW now offers a full-color heads-up display, optionally available for all series. Safety is the main objective for applying the technology to automobiles. A typical driver takes his eyes off the road for an entire second to glance at the speedometer or navigation device. During that second, a car traveling 30 miles per hour covers a distance of 45 feet. With heads up, that time is cut in half, thanks to a virtual image projected onto the windshield at eye level, visible only to the driver. And because the display appears to hover in the driver’s field of vision, there’s less strain since the eye doesn’t have to shift between close range and remote vision, while the brightness level of the image self-adjusts to its surroundings. Additionally, the new full-color display facilitates an easier, more intuitive assimilation of the data. That’s a feature even test pilot Robert Hierl doesn’t enjoy in his Eurofighter jets.