Automotive

Jaguar Land Rover researching "transparent" roof supports and ghost car navigation

Jaguar Land Rover researching ...
Jaguar Land Rover is researching the use of vehicle roof support pillars as "see-through" screens and a head-up display ghost car for navigation
Jaguar Land Rover is researching the use of vehicle roof support pillars as "see-through" screens and a head-up display ghost car for navigation
View 4 Images
Jaguar Land Rover is researching the use of vehicle roof support pillars as "see-through" screens and a head-up display ghost car for navigation
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Jaguar Land Rover is researching the use of vehicle roof support pillars as "see-through" screens and a head-up display ghost car for navigation
The use of a head-up display ghost car for navigation helps to minimize the amount of time a driver has to look away from the road
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The use of a head-up display ghost car for navigation helps to minimize the amount of time a driver has to look away from the road
The Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation system provides turn-by-turn navigation instructions as well as a virtual car to follow
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The Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation system provides turn-by-turn navigation instructions as well as a virtual car to follow
The screens on the inside of the roof support pillars show video feeds from outside the vehicle and can work in conjunction with the head-up display
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The screens on the inside of the roof support pillars show video feeds from outside the vehicle and can work in conjunction with the head-up display
View gallery - 4 images

Having shown off its transparent bonnet concept earlier this year, Jaguar Land Rover is now looking into how to make other parts of its cars disappear. The firm is researching how to let drivers see through a vehicle's roof support pillars, while also developing a ghost car navigation system.

The "360 Virtual Urban Windscreen" and "Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation" system are two of a number of technologies aimed at improving safety that Jaguar Land Rover says it is developing. By effectively making the roof support pillars in a vehicle transparent, the driver is given better visibility all around the vehicle.

The pillars are not, in fact, transparent. They use screens embedded on their inside edges to display video feeds taken from outside the car. In this way it is possible to show the driver what the pillars would otherwise be obscuring from their view, such as pedestrians and cyclists.

The screens on the inside of the roof support pillars show video feeds from outside the vehicle and can work in conjunction with the head-up display
The screens on the inside of the roof support pillars show video feeds from outside the vehicle and can work in conjunction with the head-up display

Jaguar Land Rover suggests that the technology will be active only when necessary. For example, when a driver is detected checking their blind spot prior to changing lanes, the screen in the rear pillars could be switched on. When not required, they could appear just like today's typical roof support pillars.

It is also suggested that the pillars could be used in conjunction with a head-up display. When a pedestrian is detected crossing the road, for example, the pillars may become active to ensure the driver can see the individual. When they move into view through the windscreen, a red circle projected onto the inside of the windscreen can surround the individual and track their path. If the car is connected to the internet, other information displayed on the head-up display could include things like petrol station pricing and parking space availability.

This use of the windscreen as a head-up display is aimed at helping to minimize the amount of time that a driver must look away from the road.

This approach is also taken with the Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation system. Unlike other navigation systems that display a map and route on a screen as well as providing audio directions, the system projects the image of a car onto the inside of the windscreen for the driver to follow turn-by-turn.

The video below provides an introduction to Jaguar Land Rover's research in these areas.

Source: Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar Land Rover introduces the 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen

View gallery - 4 images
3 comments
Gadgeteer
So these are not really "transparent" but rather "cloaked" pillars. Why not an array of four mirrors to form essentially a periscope to bend the light around the A-pillar? That would be a simpler, more reliable system that wouldn't require electronics.
DGP
Yes, to this great idea, way back my 88 Chevy pickup had heater controls that you had to look down at to change. I put in a push pull cable to adjust the heat and another for windshield, cab or floor. I did not have to take my eyes off the road to adjust!! At my wife's insistence, I purchased a new 2009 Ford 150 because of safety, I have to look down again, can't "improve" like I could in 1988. DGP
Catweazle
The De Havilland Hornet - developed from the highly successful Mosquito - used optically corrected panels to remove the blind spots created by the cockpit framework.