It may be a while before self-driving cars fill the roads, but that doesn't mean that smart technology can't make roads safer now. Consider Jaguar Land Rover, which just announced an update to its previous augmented reality efforts with the new "360 Virtual Urban Windscreen" research project. The project takes the main idea from Land Rover's original "Transparent Bonnet" concept — which uses cameras mounted on the grille to capture and relay video to a heads-up display in the windscreen, essentially making the car's hood appear semi-transparent to the driver — and expands it to the blind spot-causing pillars between car windows.
Transparent pillars and "ghost cars" could make safer drivers
Each pillar — the two that surround the front windscreen and the side pillars in the driver's periphery — would have an embedded screen on the inside that displays a video feed of what's behind each blind spot on the outside. Those screens will only turn on in certain situations, like when a driver activates a turn signal, approaches an intersection, or looks over his shoulder.
In addition to the blind-spot technology, Jaguar Land Rover is teasing a few additional ideas with respect to augmented reality on the windscreen. By using cloud connectivity, the company envisions being able to project information about local businesses or available parking spaces. It also offered up a new way of displaying navigation information by replacing maps and arrows with a "ghost car" projected on the screen that leads the driver along. But don't hold off on your F-Type order: since it's just a research project, there's no timeline on when this tech might make it into production Jaguars or Land Rovers.