Remember the Transparent Bonnet that made its debut on the Land Rover Discovery Vision concept in April? Well, it looks like Jaguar will be getting its own version of an augmented reality windscreen, dubbed Jaguar Virtual Windscreen. The system is said to project information such as road hazards, speed and navigation directly onto the entire windscreen, ensuring that the driver’s eyes will never have to leave the road.
“By presenting the highest quality imagery possible, a driver need only look at a display once,” said Jaguar Land Rover director of research and technology Wolfgang Epple. “Showing virtual images that allow the driver to accurately judge speed and distance will enable better decision-making and offer real benefits for everyday driving on the road.”
But there is another side to the windscreen display – it can also be used to enhance the driving experience on track. The system can display a virtual racing line that changes colour to indicate when to brake, virtual cones for driver training and even a “ghost car” virtualisation of your previous lap or an uploaded lap from another driver for you to compete against. This is honestly all starting to sound a bit Gran Turismo.
In addition, JLR is also working on a gesture control system for drivers to manipulate a number of functions including sunblinds, rear wipers and maps, all without having to take their eyes off the road. Through a technology known as E-Field Sensing, the system has a motion sensing area of around 15 cm, enabling it to accurately track that hand and any gestures it makes inside the car.
Another technology the company is working on is a 3D instrument cluster in which a feed from external and internal cameras are displayed, replacing traditional rear view and side mirrors.
Cameras mounted in the instrument binnacle or on the steering column track the position of the driver’s head and eyes, and software then adjusts the image projection to feed each eye with two slightly different angles of a particular image. This creates a perception of depth that allows the driver to more accurately judge the distance and speed of other vehicles compared to two-dimensional imagery.