Rear-facing cameras have replaced craning your neck while reversing. Screens are about to replace windows on private jets. Now, Land Rover is using streaming video to virtually remove an SUV’s hood.
The Discovery Vision Concept, set to debut at the New York Auto Show, uses a front-facing camera to see what’s ahead, then projects the image on the lower portion of the windshield so the driver can see “through” the hood. Land Rover calls it a “Transparent Bonnet,” and besides an image of the terrain, the display shows the angle of the front wheels, the degree of the slope the driver is traversing, and the SUV’s speed.
“As our vehicles become more capable and offer increasing autonomy off-road, we will ensure the driver has the confidence to progress over any terrain,” says Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Land Rover’s director of R&D. “We are developing new technologies including the Transparent Hood to give drivers an augmented view of reality to help them tackle anything from the toughest off-road route to the tight confines of urban parking.”
Naturally, Land Rover being Land Rover, it’s touting the technology as a way to make off-roading easier, even though the system is more likely to be used to avoid crushing a bush in the Whole Foodsparking lot. Either way, it’s yet another step to provide drivers seamless visibility thanks to cameras, screens, and video processing, and in some cases, even making the passengers disappear.