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Upgraded! HUDWAY Drive cameras set review – A HUD with Park assist & Blind spot cameras!

HUDWAY Drive cameras set blind spot view

If you’ve watched our review of the HUDWAY Drive then you already know that I really like this piece of car tech.  It’s an easy upgrade to make almost any vehicle feel high tech to drive.  Add a Heads-Up display with the ability to show your vehicle sensor readings like speed, rpm, fuel level and more.  Plus, your phone notifications pop-up on screen and it even has the ability to screen mirror your phone.  Find out more on the HUDWAY Drive in our review here.

Now, if you think that’s all it can do then you are mistaken.  The HUDWAY Drive can also be upgraded with a 3-camera kit that allows it to project any of the camera feeds to the Heads-Up Display.  It doesn’t stop there because the rear camera module also has ultrasonic sensors, LED lights and a beeper that upgrades your vehicle with reverse assist capabilities that includes a distance readout and audio alerts.  The end result is that you upgrade your vehicle with blind spot side view cameras and park assist features that are viewable in a Heads-Up Display.  This is good stuff and it all works seamlessly.

Let’s dive deeper into what to expect from the HUDWAY Drive cameras set.

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If you’re looking for additional notes and personal experience on my installation of the HUDWAY Drive cameras set, click here to jump to that.  To purchase the HUDWAY Drive for yourself, friends or family, our affiliate links here.

Checkout the video here!

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A quick disclosure before I get started.  This is not a paid or sponsored review.  However, I initiated contact with HUDWAY after finding out about their HUDWAY Drive.  They agreed to send me the HUDWAY Drive and the accessory 3-cameras set for free to review and I do get to keep these afterwards.  My honest review next.

Before continuing, there is one thing you need to know if you are considering getting this camera set and I will cover it in the Future support section of this post so look out for that near the end.

HUDWAY Drive Side view cameras / Blind spot cameras

The 3-camera kit comes with 2 side cameras that you install on the front fenders of your vehicle.  When installed properly, you can easily view each camera in the HUD display.  You can use it to aid in seeing your blind spots when driving or when parking.  The display is larger than typical small blind spot mirrors so you get a better view.  It’s nice to have this viewable directly in your line of sight instead of being off to the side like in side view mirrors.

One downside, as with all HUDs, is that in some conditions like bright, direct sunlight, it may be difficult to see what’s on the display.

Can HUD visibility be improved in bright conditions?

[EDIT: This is not in the video] Viewers have asked if putting a dark backdrop behind the lens can help to improve the visibility of the HUD so I gave it a quick test.  As you can see in the attached photos, it does!  A sheet of dark vinyl wrap that is not transparent or a darker window tint cut to the size of the lens could hypothetically be added to the lens to improve the visibility of the display.  Of course, if you do this you are doing this at your own risk as this is not usage as designed and recommended by HUDWAY.  Some photos of testing this follow.

A quick Warning: It is important to note that doing this should not block your vision out the windshield in any way that is unsafe or break any local, state/provincial or federal laws.  If it blocks your vision in an unsafe manner then it would not be a good idea to do.  In some vehicles the HUD may be installed higher up causing it to block your direct line of sight and doing something like this could be very dangerous.

HUDWAY Drive display in bright conditions
HUDWAY Drive display in bright conditions
Testing HUDWAY Drive display with dark backdrop in bright conditions (Split view)
Testing HUDWAY Drive display with dark backdrop in bright conditions (Split view)
Testing HUDWAY Drive display with dark backdrop in bright conditions
Testing HUDWAY Drive display with dark backdrop in bright conditions

Another thing about using it for seeing your blind spot is that, similar to blind spot mirrors, it can be difficult to judge how close a car is due to the wide-angle view.

It could just be a matter of getting used to where a car shows up in the display in relation to where it actually is next to your vehicle.  So, to be safe, shoulder checks are still a good idea.

On the positive side, I found that the cameras can definitely aid in helping you get into tight parking spots or closer to the curb more precisely, when used in conjunction with shoulder checks and your mirrors.  You can easily check where the curb is on the passenger side or how close you are to vehicles on both sides.

What’s cool about the two side cameras is that they can be activated using a neat little joystick or by using your turn signals if you fully install the system.  Push the joystick right to bring up the right camera and left to bring up the left camera.  Press again in the same direction to turn off the feed.  To get the turn signal integration, you will have an additional installation step which I will talk more about in the Installation section of this post, upcoming.

By the way, if you are looking to buy the HUDWAY Drive or the HUDWAY Drive Cameras set, I’ve included our HUDWAY Drive discount code and affiliate links to purchase further below.

HUDWAY Drive Park assist / Rear view camera

Up next, we have the rear camera module which, I think is the most useful feature of this kit because it isn’t just an ordinary camera.  It comes with ultrasonic sensors, two LED lights and a beeper too.  I like using this because when the rear camera is displayed on the HUD, you can see the camera feed and a distance readout in meters.  Maybe it’s the inner geek in me but having the visual, audio and distance information all at the same time makes this feature pretty cool to have.

You can see how well this works in the video.  It is able to detect a light pole with ease, too.

One issue I encountered recently with the ultrasonic sensors is that when it got to -29°C here in Alberta, the sensors stopped working until they were warmed up.  I’m not sure what the official operating temperature range is but at least it was temporary, while the camera still worked at that temperature.

Another quirk with the system is that even if the HUDWAY Drive is turned off but the video selector is powered, the reverse assist system is still active and will give audio alerts.

Like the side cameras, there are two ways to activate the live feed of the rear camera.  You can use the joystick or put your vehicle into reverse.  With the joystick just push it down to enable the rear camera feed and down again to turn it off.  For the automatic reverse feature to work you will have to fully install the system which I cover next.

HUDWAY Drive Cameras set Installation

When you first open the box for the HUDWAY Drive cameras set it can be and is overwhelming.  There are so many cables and parts that it can put you off from wanting to install it.  Even though I have installed dash cams before, this is definitely a harder install.

HUDWAY already has a page written and a video on how to do the installation.

Additional notes from my installation after this section.

In the video, I show the high-level view of how everything is connected.  You have the rear camera with beeper and adapter cable.  The right and left cameras with extension cable and adapter cables.  The video selector box that everything connects to.  The cable for a night vision camera if you purchased one.  The trigger cables.  The power and ground cables.  The video wire to run to the HUDWAY Drive unit.  And lastly, the joystick for controlling the camera feeds manually.

If you want to keep the installation simpler, you could skip wiring the trigger cable.  The trigger cable allows the system to automatically bring up the appropriate camera feed based on you using either of the turn signals or putting the vehicle in reverse.  Without the trigger cable installed, you would have to manually select the feed you want to display using the joystick.  Installing the trigger cables involves splicing into the appropriate light bulb wire for the turn signal lights and the reverse light.  The wire taps are included in the kit for this purpose.

Installation did take me a lot of time to plan out.  I had to plan out how to run the wiring of the rear camera and side cameras into the cabin and where the video selector box would be installed so that all the wiring would reach it.  But!  After going through that, I really like the end result so it was worth it for me.

Frakking Creations HUDWAY Drive cameras set installation notes

First thing to do is to read over and watch HUDWAY Drive’s installation info.  This will give you most of what you need to know.  From there, I share at a high level a few tips based on my own personal experience that may help to make things easier for your install.

 

When you are planning your install, you want to take everything out and sort them to know what you have and where everything connects.

 

Then install the side then the rear cameras.  Get them installed and wired into the cabin of the vehicle but NOT tucked and hidden away under the trim.  You want to make sure the cables will all reach the selector box before finalizing your install.

 

Note that for me I installed the selector box under the driver seat instead of in the trunk due the power cable not being long enough to reach the trunk from the front driver side fuse box.  Note that you can interchange the camera extension cables.  Though they are labeled as side camera extension cables, you can also use them for the rear camera.  I did just that by using one of the extension cables for the rear camera to be able to reach to the selector box at the front.  The driver side camera did not need the extension cable since it was long enough to reach the selector box under the driver seat.

 

Next, connect the power cable to the vehicle’s power and ground.  Because of my experience installing dash cams, I prefer to use these fuse taps to connect to a power source at the fuse box.  It simplifies the install.

 

Here are the IMPORTANT parts on powering the HUDWAY Drive cameras set.  Note that you have to find the appropriate fuse to tap into and you don’t want to use a fuse slot of anything important like airbags, engine control and such.  How to use this is beyond the scope of this video but there are many sources online you can find.

 

Also make sure to tap into an ACC fuse that is only powered when the vehicle is in accessory mode or turned on.  If you tap into an always on fuse, the 3-camera kit will always be on and drawing power from your battery and can eventually drain it even when the vehicle is turned off.

 

Next, test that the system is working.  Connect the cameras to the selector box, then connect the joystick to the selector cable and the video cable to the HUDWAY Drive.  Connect the power cable to the selector box and turn the vehicle on.  Once powered up the joystick can be used to bring up each of the camera feeds on the HUDWAY Drive.

 

With everything working, you can now work on figuring out where to place the selector box and where to run the cables.  Each vehicle is different in where the fuse box is and where cables can be routed so by having the cameras installed first and everything wired up and running, you will get a better idea of where best or where it is possible to install the video selector box and run the wiring.

 

At this point, you can stop here but activation of the cameras will be manual as you will have to use the joystick.  If you want the system to automatically switch cameras based on the turn signals and the reverse selector of your vehicle, then you need to connect the trigger wires to the appropriate light bulb wire of your vehicle.  The appropriate turn signal light bulb wire for the side cameras and the reverse light bulb for the rear camera.  Do this before deciding where to install the video selector box and before hiding the wiring in the vehicle trim.

 

Since I had to figure all this out on my own as a first time install, it took quite a bit of time.  I hope your install goes easier and faster than mine did.

 

Good luck!

Future support for Video input

One of the unfortunate things about the HUDWAY Drive is that video input support is not going to be supported starting from batch #7 and up, indefinitely.  This is due to problems with 3rd party chip availability.  As per HUDWAY support if opportunities come up in the future, then this may change.  So, if you have batches #5 or #6 or ordered in 2023 then you are one of the lucky ones where video input is supported.  HUDWAY Drive production updates page.

Final thoughts

So, what do you think?  Is this HUDWAY Drive 3-camera park assist and blind spot side view kit a cool feature to have?  It definitely adds more useful capabilities to the HUDWAY Drive.  Like I said in my HUDWAY Drive review video, I really like the HUDWAY Drive and what it offers.  Adding this 3-camera kit made it better and gives new capabilities to the HUDWAY Drive that are useful.

I hope HUDWAY continues to innovate and add new features to the HUDWAY Drive for new and existing owners.  If you enjoyed the video, like and share with anyone else you think would enjoy it too.  Subscribe to our channel for more good stuff to come!

Where to buy HUDWAY Drive and Accessories

Our HUDWAY Drive coupon code to get 10% off (FC10DEAL) and affiliate links to purchase or get additional info.

 HUDWAY Drive

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