After previewing the transparent hood and the virtual windscreen in the first half of 2014, Jaguar Land Rover is back with a new piece car tech with the aim of making driving an even safer affair. While the transparent hood takes on the off-road terrain and the virtual windscreen is focus on race track, this new concept is kind of a mash up of both, but adapted for urban environment. The new development will turn the vehicle’s pillars, when viewed from within the car, ‘transparent’ and also adds a ‘Follow Me’ ghost car to aid in navigation. Refer to as the ‘360 Virtual Urban Windscreen’, the concept aims to turn the roof pillars transparent so that you, the driver, can have a 360o view of the outside. Every driver knows that this whole time, they are actually ‘making do’ of the current situation i.e. enduring partially obstructed view caused by pillars, be it A, B or C.
The transparent pillar concept involves embedding screen onto the surface of the pillars inside the car, while cameras on the outside capture live video feed and displays them on the display-overlaid pillars, such as the A and B pillars. Working in conjunction with an advanced head-up display or HUD, the movement of other road users such as pedestrian and other motorists, could be highlighted right in front of the driver, so that the driver is always in the know without even taking his or her eyes off the road. Interestingly, the pillars won’t be transparent throughout. It only becomes so when, say for example, you look over your shoulder during an overtaking maneuver, or as the vehicle approaches a junction. In those scenarios, the system would automatically turn either left or right side pillar transparent to facilitate an unobstructed view of the outside.
The whole idea is, if you could see more, then you could eliminate any potential accidents. However, the system has more to offer than ‘transparent’ pillars – it is a suite that could connect the car to roadside infrastructure and businesses, presenting information such as petrol prices, number of parking available and more, so drivers will be less distracted when navigating around. And then there is the ‘Follow Me’ Ghost Car Navigation that replicates how you would follow a friend’s car to a particular destination by projecting an image of a vehicle in front of the your car for you to follow. In this way, there is no need to be bothered by landmarks or street names – all the driver needs to do is to follow the virtual car, thereby minimizing distraction that would otherwise caused when looking out for signs, remembering street names, et cetera.
To date Jaguar Land Rover has presented quite a few of this potentially hassle or even accident saving technology, but when we can actually them implemented is anybody’s guess. Keep going for a video to see a simulation of the transparent pillar in action.