Land Rover teased its new Discovery Vision concept last week in the run-up to its début at 2014 New York International Auto Show on April 16, and now the car maker reveals a bit more about the Vision – or rather, less. That’s because the latest tease demonstrates a new technology that uses cameras and heads-up displays to make the front of the car “invisible” to the driver.
Land Rovers have a lot of pluses, but visibility around that landing deck of a bonnet is not one of them. Anyone who's ever tried to park one in a tight spot or negotiated a rutted path with only an inch of clearance knows how much guesswork is involved. To remedy this, the Vision concept steals a page from the latest fighter plane technology for its “Transparent Bonnet” virtual imaging system, that makes it appear as if the bonnet is made of glass.
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Designed to act as an aid for off-roading and maneuvering in close quarters, it uses cameras mounted on the front grille of the Vision to capture real-time images of the area hidden by the bonnet, and projects them onto a full-width heads-up display on the bottom of the windscreen. This produces the illusion that the front of the car has become transparent, allowing the driver to see what obstacles are in the way.
In addition, the display shows a pair of virtual front wheels, so the driver knows where they are and what angle they’re pointed at, as well as readouts of the front and lateral tilt of the car, front wheel angle, and speed in both imaging and non-imaging modes.
The video below shows the prototype “Transparent Bonnet” system in action.
Source: Land Rover