Land Rover has expanded its “see-through” technologies with the addition of its new “Transparent Trailer.”
Designed to eliminate blind spots in the rearview mirror, the system combines video feeds from the vehicle’s surround-view camera system with a video feed from a digital wireless camera that is placed on the rear of the trailer. The videos are then combined to create a see-through image of what’s being hauled so the driver can make sure they are clearing a corner or avoiding other hazards.
Jaguar Land Rover Director of Research and Technology Dr. Wolfgang Epple had this to say:
“When you are overtaking it is instinctive to check your mirrors, but if you are towing your vision is often restricted with large blind spots. Our Transparent Trailer project is researching how we could offer a view out of the vehicle unrestricted by your trailer, no matter what its size or shape. Our prototype system offers a very high-quality video image with no distortion of other cars or obstructions. This means the driver would have exactly the right information to make safe and effective decisions when driving or maneuvering, making towing safer and less stressful.”
In addition to the Transparent Trailer system, Land Rover announced a “Cargo Sense” system that uses a camera placed inside the trailer and a set of pressure sensors on the floor to help owners load cargo evenly. The other benefit of this system is that if cargo is moving around while traveling, the driver can pull over and make any needed adjustments.
Land Rover’s Transparent Hood, which debuted on the Discovery Vision Concept uses similar technology as the Transparent Trailer to optimize visibility when driving off-road. By using camera projections, a driver can “see through” the vehicle’s hood to spot tricky terrain and the best approach angle. Where the Transparent Hood differs is that it requires a “smart windshield,” while the trailer system projects camera feeds into a more simple viewing monitor.
Look for these technologies to be offered in Land Rover models very soon.