Jaguar Land Rover is researching technologies that will offer drivers a 360 degrees view out of their vehicle, uninterrupted by the pillars that support the roof.
They plan to do this by embedding screens in the surface of each pillar inside the car which would carry live video feeds from cameras covering the angles outside the car usually obscured in the blind spots created by the A, B and C-pillars.
The 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen would increase the overall safety features of the car by making pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles all around the car visible. The system would automatically make the left or right-hand side pillars transparent when the driver indicates to change direction, when they move their head to look over their shoulder during an overtake manoeuvre, or as the vehicle approaches a junction.
According to Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover:
“Our ultimate aim is to reduce the potential for 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.”
The virtual windscreen would be connected to the Cloud and could present information ranging from petrol station prices to the number of parking spaces available, so drivers won’t have to look for this information themselves. The connected car could also enhance navigation by advising the driver to turn left or right at more visible landmarks, such as pubs or shops, rather than just road signs or street names.
Another interesting technology under development is their ‘Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation’ which projects an image of a vehicle in front of the driver’s car for them to follow, turn by turn, to their destination.