Jaguar Land Rover is researching '360 Virtual Urban Windscreen' augmented reality technology, which makes body panels appear transparent – giving drivers a 360o view out of their vehicle, uninterrupted by the pillars that support the roof.
The technology works by using a screen embedded in the surface of each pillar inside the car, which takes a live video feed from cameras covering the angles outside the car that are usually obscured.
When the driver indicates a change in direction to overtake, or as the vehicle approaches a junction, the system automatically makes the left or right-hand side pillars transparent.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology at Jaguar Land Rover, says: '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.'
But we can see (geddit?) huge potential for transparent pillars off-road, especially when navigating through tight and tricky terrain. Presumably it could be applied to reversing too, making a Range Rover Evoque as simple to park as an 80-inch Series I. Well, maybe...
Connecting the 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen to the Cloud would unleash its full potential, meaning it could present information ranging from petrol station prices to the number of parking spaces available nearby.
Jaguar Land Rover is also developing ‘Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation’, which projects an image of a vehicle in front of the driver’s car for them to follow to their destination. As a way to learn how to rock crawl, that could be fun.