This was posted in the pics thread, I think this belongs here.
-2009 BMW 328i Space Gray //A52//322//4B9//507//609//639//677/6FL//6NF//
-2014 CX-5 Sport, Black (RIP Apr '15)
-2015 BMW ///M4 Austin Yellow //B67//ZDB//ZEP//ZEC//2MK//2VF//2VZ//403//688//
-2016 CX-5 Touring, Soul Red, Bose/Tech, PDC (Sold)
-2017 CX-5 GT Soul Red Premium (Bought and on a boat to Germany)
You're correct, the way it's projected it looks like it's floating over the hood of your car. It's nothing like those "aftermarket" solutions or where people put phones on their dashboards and it reflects on the windshield.
It's definitely strange at first, but doesn't take long to get used to it. For the first 10 mins it was almost a distraction, now I can't imagine living without it!
Passengers cannot see it. Even someone in the back seat behind the driver will have a hard time positioning themselves to see it. It's only visible to a narrow field of view, so basically just the drier's eyes.
Another dumb question - if you manually dim the instrument cluster illumination all the way, does the HUD dim too? Would be eerie to be in a totally dark car with nothing but the HUD visible.
Also, the workshop manual posted earlier by Anchorman explains it all, including design details (image is purposely placed about 2.6 meters from driver's eyes) as well as the rationale behind (so that user can more easily adjust his vision, eye focusing I believe, between the road and the display).
Thanks again for sharing the manual. Very cool design!
(p.9 of workshop manual, on HUD Construction)
• The active driving display consists of a display device which produces the display content and emits the content
over a light beam, a plane mirror which reflects the light beam emitted from the display device, a concave mirror
which emits the light beam from the plane mirror to the windshield and enhances the display, a motor which
changes the tilt of the concave mirror, and a photo sensor which detects the brightness of the driving condition.
• The time in which the driver's line of vision changes from the view at the front of the vehicle to the view of the
information reflected on the windshield has been shortened by displaying the information within the forward visual
range of the driver.
• The image reflected in the windshield is positioned virtually approx. 2.6 m forward of the eye point. As a result,
the eye point adjustment time in which the driver's line of vision changes from the view at the front of the vehicle
to the view of the information reflected in the windshield has been reduced.