Never to be outdone in the technology stakes, Jaguar Land Rover have just revealed the latest brainwave from their research department: ‘the 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen‘.
Designed to combat the visual impairment caused by a car’s roof support pillars, the windscreen features display screens embedded in each A, B and C support pillar. Each of these shows a video feed from the camera on the other side of the pillar, allowing the driver to see ‘through’ these parts of the car. These pillars can be programmed to go individually or collectively transparent as a result of specific actions, such as indicating left.
Combined with a high quality ‘Head’s-Up‘ display, which projects the movements of other road users onto the virtual screen using a halo, the system is designed to improve visibility and safety.
As Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Our ultimate aim is to reduce road accidents and enhance the urban driving experience… 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.”
To take things one step further, the car’s virtual windscreen can be connected to the cloud, allowing it to highlight relevant environmental information such as petrol prices or available parking spaces, as well as recognisable waypoints such as shops or landmarks.
Furthermore, this technology could also be used to create an innovative and very futuristic style of sat nav. Jaguar Land Rover say that they could project a ‘ghost car’ onto the road in front of the driver which he or she could simply follow to their destination. According to the company, following another car is the most efficient way of navigation as it reduces driver distractions and therefore accidents. It also means you’ll never again have an irritating voice telling you to do a u turn!
This technology is still in concept stage but shows a real commitment from Jaguar Land Rover towards road safety. We look forward to seeing some of these exciting innovations on cars in the near future.