No matter how big the windscreen is or how many windows a car has, roof pillars block your view. But not necessarily for much longer as Jaguar Land Rover has revealed its working on a solution.
Jaguar Land Rover’s ‘360 Virtual Urban Windscreen’ is a research project that is designed to offer drivers a 360-degree view of the surroundings. It wants to do this by embedding a screen in the A, B and C pillars on the inside of the car.
Video cameras outside the car can then display what is happening outside and show it on the appropriate screen, creating the effect of transparency. So a pedestrian or cyclist you would usually be unable to see in your blindspot is now clear as day.
To limit distraction, the pillar displays would only kick in when needed. Look over your shoulder to reverse, for instance, and the relevant pillar display would turn on, making you less likely to back into an obstacle.
Research and technology director at Jaguar Land Rover Dr Wolfgang Epple said: “Our ultimate aim is to reduce road accidents and enhance the urban driving experience. The Jaguar Land Rover research team is developing this technology to improve visibility and to give the driver with the right information at the right time.
“If we can keep the driver’s eyes on the road ahead and present information in a non-distracting way, we can help drivers make better decisions in the most demanding and congested driving environments.”
Another clever idea to come out of the research project is ‘Follow-MeGhost Car Navigation’. Rather than follow on-screen arrows, the concept navigation system projects an image of a vehicle on the windscreen, allowing you to follow a virtual car to your destination.
A ‘highly advanced’ head-up display that can highlight useful information such as petrol station prices, how long before a traffic light changes to green, the number of parking spaces available and highlight potential dangers as you look at the road ahead was also revealed.
Dr Epple added: “Driving on city streets can be a stressful experience, but imagine being able to drive across town without having to look at road signs, or be distracted trying to locate a parking space as you drive by.
“We want to present all of this information on a Heads-Up Display in the driver’s eye-line, so the driver doesn’t have to seek it out for themselves and take their eyes off the road ahead.”
No word in whether we will see any of this clever technology in a future model.
Earlier in the year Jaguar Land Rover announced it had been working on a see-through bonnet.