Jaguar Land Rover develops ‘transparent’ A-pillar

With high tech safety features becoming ever more commonplace in the automobile world, it seems that Jaguar Land Rover has now re-tuned its ambitions and jumped on the bandwagon, looking to take on driver safety.

The luxury British automakers that specialize in providing both classy and practical cars have designed a concept that allows drivers and others in their vicinity to become a lot safer due to the roof pillars that have so often caused blind spots, to become transparent. They’ve called it the 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen.

The screen effectively becomes one giant projector as well as being aided by transparent pillars that give the as-needed 360 degree view. Jaguar Land Rover has released a video alongside the concept to showcase what this actually means and how it works.

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In the first case shown, the A-pillars appear to dissolve and project an image of a pedestrian walking through the point that, without the technology, would not be possible to see. The projected image also carries a warning sign that moves with the projection until the danger is no longer apparent. The same also applies for other dangers, such as the stationary car in front.

Next, we see the driver looking over his shoulder while on a busy road with faster moving traffic. The car detects where the driver is turning to and actively projects the vehicle on either the B-pillar or the C-pillar.

[sam_ad id=”3″ codes=”true”]There may be those concerned that this is in fact too much going on at once for the driver to stay fully focused while maintaining crucial concentration on the road at all times. But they’ve covered that base pretty well.

The B & C-pillars only become visibly transparent individually, and are only activated when the driver looks at each pillar. So the concept is still 360 degrees, just not all at once.

Another aiding factor in the safety of the design is also the fact that for the B & C-pillars to become transparent, the driver must use the traditional indicators (or “blinkers”), as this is primarily to be used as a merging or overtaking function. This will also please many road users who, like myself, are fed up with drivers feeling that there is no longer a need to use indicators.

One of the final features is something straight out of the racing video games I used to play as a child. The Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation system allows you to tag a car in front and gives the car a banner saying “Follow Me” above it, which stays highlighted while you follow. The Ghost Car comes in when the car is no longer in sight. A projection is made ahead of you, allowing you to clearly see the route to take and allows you to catch up with the marked car.

The Ghost Car feature, is just one of the many smart integration features, which can also show how full a multi-story car park is, or the current price of gas at the next fuel station. The system will rely on cloud storage. Though nothing else has been released in relation to how the cloud will run and who by, it can safely be said that if the concept does take off, Jaguar Land Rover won’t be the only ones solely on the system as others will surely be looking to pitch in and capitalize on the idea.

The 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen is due to hit production vehicles by the end of 2020. By then, the concept will have been taken apart several times and put back together even more times. But the concept may lead other competitors to turn their heads and take note as there doesn’t seem to be many initial fallbacks in the 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen concept as yet.

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