Video: Jaguar-Land Rover seeks to make blindspots an invisible thing of the past

Jaguar-Land Rover have really been upping the ante with their technology game in terms of in-car gadgets and trickery.

Now, J-LR’s latest efforts is the creation of the “transparent” A-pillar in a move to eliminate one of the most problematic and troublesome blind spots ever to show up with the evolution of the automobile. Remember the time when car pillars were thin enough to see around them? Pepperidge Farm remembers…

The new technology uses similar methods as J-LR’s recent “disappearing hood” act for the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept, which uses cameras to project images of what’s under the car when off-roading–very helpful for rock crawling and trying to avoid a busted oil pan.

The system is called 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen system and was showcased on the latest XJ sedan. But more so, in features more than just invisible pillars, which they call the “Transparent Pillar” system. Not only does it work on the A-pillars, but it’ll be designed to work on all pillars of varying Jaguar-Land Rover vehicles. So when the car senses something in one of these pillar blindspots, cameras will project what is actually there, alerting the driver.

There’s another separate system called the “Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation” system, which is modeled after videogames using “ghost cars” to replay a player’s previous lap run in a race. This system seeks to make sat-nav a lot easier to use when driving by using a heads-up display system to virtually project a vehicle on the windshield. The vehicle then acts as an indicator for the most accurate turn-by-turn instructions, making it easier for drivers to follow.

For full details plus some video demonstration, check it all out below.



– Jaguar Land Rover reveals its ‘360 Virtual Urban Windscreen’ research, which uses transparent roof pillars to give the driver a 360o view outside the car
– To aid navigation on busy urban roads, a ghost car could be projected in front of the car for the driver to follow
– The concept uses future Heads-Up Display technology to provide information to keep the driver’s eyes on the road and reduce distraction
– ‘360 Virtual Urban Windscreen’ and ‘Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation’ are part of a suite of new concept technologies that Jaguar Land Rover is developing to reduce the potential for accidents

Whitley, UK: Jaguar Land Rover has launched a research project to develop technologies that will offer drivers a 360o view out of their vehicle, uninterrupted by the pillars that support the roof.

A screen would be embedded in the surface of each pillar inside the car and would take a live video feed from cameras covering the angles outside the car usually obscured in the blind spots created by the A, B and C-pillars.

Pedestrians, cyclists and other vehicles would be visible all around the car – and by combining the transparent pillars with an advanced high quality Heads-Up display, the movement of other road users could be highlighted to the driver with an on-screen halo moving across the car’s virtual windscreen.

When the driver indicates to change direction, when they move their head to look over their shoulder during an overtake manoeuvre, or as the vehicle approaches a junction, the system would automatically make the left or right-hand side pillars transparent.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Our ultimate aim is to reduce road accidents and enhance the urban driving experience. The Jaguar Land Rover research team is developing this technology to improve visibility and to give the driver with the right information at the right time. If we can keep the driver’s eyes on the road ahead and present information in a non-distracting way, we can help drivers make better decisions in the most demanding and congested driving environments.”

The full potential for the 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen would be delivered by connecting the virtual windscreen to the Cloud. By connecting the car to roadside infrastructure and businesses in the urban landscape, the Virtual Urban Windscreen could present information ranging from petrol station prices to the number of parking spaces available, so drivers won’t have to look for this information themselves.

The connected car could also enhance navigation by advising the driver to turn left or right at more visible landmarks, such as pubs or shops, rather than just road signs or street names.

While the most intuitive and efficient way to navigate to a specific location is to be able to follow someone who knows the best route – so the Jaguar Land Rover team is developing ‘Follow-MeGhost Car Navigation’,which projects an image of a vehicle in front of the driver’s car for them to follow, turn by turn, to their destination.

“Driving on city streets can be a stressful experience, but imagine being able to drive across town without having to look at road signs, or be distracted trying to locate a parking space as you drive by,” added Dr Epple. “We want to present all of this information on a Heads-Up Display in the driver’s eye-line, so the driver doesn’t have to seek it out for themselves and take their eyes off the road ahead.”

Chris Chin

Chris Chin is the Editor-In-Chief of egmCarTech and is a regular contributor to Automobile Magazine.

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