In-car cockpit development has begun to advance beyond secondary displays and digital-watch-like HUDs. At the Los Angeles Auto Show, automakers such as Audi have been perfecting sophisticated high-definition display solutions that do more than replicate traditional vehicle gauges; they allow for customized placement and better visibility of information that reduces distraction and delivers more of what the driver needs to make safer driving decisions.
Enter a new research project announced by Jaguar Land Rover. In addition to their innovative smart connected car program and new justDrive app platform, JLR will be developing technologies that will allow drivers a 360-degree view out of the vehicle. Dubbed the “360◦ Virtual Urban Windscreen,” these technologies work together to solve driver visibility issues that have long plagued automakers.
Roof pillars? What roof pillars? Video screens would be embedded in the surface of each pillar inside of the car and will take a live video feed from cameras covering outside vehicle angles, effectively eliminating blind spots created by the A, B and C pillars. When the driver initiates a turn or moves his/her head to view traffic during a passing maneuver or as the vehicle approaches a highway junction, the system automatically renders the left- or right-hand side pillars transparent.
“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,” said Dr. Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at Jaguar Land Rover. “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.”
By combining the now-transparent pillars with next-generation HUD technology, the movement of vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians can be highlighted in an augmented-reality manner by an on-screen halo moving across the driver’s complete field of vision. And by connecting the “virtual windscreen” to the cloud, services such as locating nearby businesses and infrastructure can be presented in front of the driver.
Imagine having the number of spaces available in a parking structure displayed next to the structure itself or gasoline prices shown next to filling stations across the street from one another. We also like the idea of this system using visible landmarks while navigating and not just street names, which might not be clearly seen, particularly at night.
Still having trouble finding your way? The Jaguar Land Rover development team is also creating “Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation,” a way for the driver to follow an imaginary car by projecting a virtual image of a vehicle on the windshield for the driver to follow, turn by turn, to a destination. If you are still getting lost, perhaps you should let someone else do the driving.
We love it when technology is used to solve problems in understandable and intuitive ways. If properly implemented, we expect customers to reward Jaguar Land Rover (and other brands) for the technology that makes driving safer and more efficient.
Source: Jaguar Land Rover