Skip to main content

Jaguar’s ‘Virtual Windscreen’ turns real life into a video game

Jaguar Virtual Windscreen
Image used with permission by copyright holder
Jaguar today announced a new tech feature that will blur the line between reality and simulation.

The Jaguar Virtual Windscreen works like any of the numerous head-up displays currently on the market, except Jag has used the technology to make real-life driving more like a video game.

The system not only augments the driver’s view with relevant data like lap times, but also with a virtual racing line that changes from green to red to indicate braking zones, just like in Forza Motorsport.

Drivers can even call up “ghost” cars that represent previous laps or laps recorded by other racers, another feature that’s well known to gamers.

There are also virtual cones that can be set up to create an invisible autocross course. What will onlookers  think when they see a Jaguar F-Type swerving around a parking lot for no apparent reason?

The Virtual Windscreen can also display more mundane things like instrument data and the feed from a rearview camera. It complements the “Transparent Hood” unveiled by Land Rover a few months ago.

It’s also the latest attempt by carmakers to reconcile the singular pursuit of performance driving with the impulse to load cars with more connectivity features for smartphone addicted consumers.

While digital tech arguably enhances certain aspects of regular driving with features like navigation, track driving is really something that’s done for its own sake.

Yet with features like the Virtual Windscreen, Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder, and BMW’s GoPro integration, carmakers are trying to bring some of the technological zeitgeist to the world of automotive performance.

The question is whether tech will genuinely improve the act of fast driving, or just become a distracting gimmick.

Editors' Recommendations

Stephen Edelstein
Stephen is a freelance automotive journalist covering all things cars. He likes anything with four wheels, from classic cars…
Jaguar Land Rover is developing this amazing 3D head-up display
jaguar land rover developing immersive 3d head up display

Head-up displays have become a common feature in cars, usually showing basic information like speed or navigation directions. But Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) sees more potential in the technology. The British automaker is developing an elaborate 3D head-up display that can show drivers important safety information, or let passengers watch a movie. It's unclear if the display will go into production, though.

An elaborate in-car display might sound distracting, but JLR claims it could actually improve safety. The 3D head-up display could be used to show hazards up ahead, and help counteract the effects of poor visibility, according to the automaker. Navigation directions and other messages could also be projected onto the road ahead, according to JLR, placing them where the driver should already be looking. Studies conducted in Germany have shown that stereoscopic 3D displays can help improve driver reaction times, JLR claims.

Read more
Can big rebates lure Tesla owners into Jaguar’s segment-bending I-Pace?

Jaguar aimed the I-Pace, its first series-produced battery-electric car, straight at the Tesla Model X. It's a quick, luxurious crossover available only with a battery-electric drivetrain, so it's similar to the X in many ways -- at least on paper. Design alone isn't enough to convince Tesla owners to walk into a Jaguar dealership, so the company is putting cash on the hood.

For a limited time, motorists who can prove there is a Tesla registered in their household -- not necessarily in their name -- are eligible to receive a $3,000 discount when they purchase an I-Pace. Jaguar isn't making a lot of noise about the campaign, but several Twitter users pointed it out after it was launched.

Read more
That awesome video of Rivian’s electric R1T turning like a tank was fake
Rivian R1T

Drone footage of Rivian's futuristic, battery-electric R1T pickup pulling an impressive tank turn set the internet on fire this week. It was awesome, and it suggested the Michigan-based startup had added another feature to the truck's already impressive roster of capabilities. There's just one problem: It was completely fake.

"That wasn't an official video, and it was [computer-generated imagery]," a Rivian spokesperson confirmed to Digital Trends via email. Dang. We were already browsing Google Earth to find the closest trail we could pull a tank turn on. The video was quickly removed from YouTube, and the account that posted it appears to have been either suspended or deleted.

Read more