Land Rover Unveils Invisible Car Technology
In the new Land Rover “Transparent Bonnet,” drivers don’t have to worry about what’s underneath the car. They can see straight through to the ground in what is in effect X-ray vision that makes the vehicle’s hood invisible.
Land Rover unveiled a conceptΒ on its website on April 9 as a teaser ahead of its New York International Motor Show showcase beginning April 16. The transparent bonnet β what is called a car’s “hood” in the U.S. β allows anyone at the wheel to see obstacles below the vehicle along with an “augmented reality view” of what lies ahead in the terrain, according to Land Rover.
The automaker pulled off this remarkable feat by installing a camera in the vehicle’s grille that sends data to the driver display. At that point, an optical illusion is created that renders the hood of the automobile invisible, affording the driver a look at what’s beneath with a view of the wheels in motion.
Land Rover suggests this technology will come in handy when drivers are approaching steep inclines or working around tight spaces. It’s part of the automaker’s effort to make its vehicles “more capable and autonomous off-road.” The company has a suite of new car technologies set to debut in New York in what it’s calling a Discovery Vision Concept showcase.
In addition to the see-through hood, the Transparent Bonnet concept offers the driver data on speed, wheel position and vehicle angle. Big cars and SUVs are known for their safety benefits over smaller automobiles. If Land Rover can make a whip-smart SUV that delivers X-ray imagery that helps drivers avoid accidents, it may lay claim to the safest vehicle on the road.