Several months after presenting its Transparent Hood on the Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept, the think-tank troops at Jaguar Land Rover have unveiled a new bit of future driver-assist design in the form of the Jaguar Virtual Windscreen. Basically, it uses the vehicle's entire windshield as a head-up high-res display medium capable of presenting a wide range of clear, concise info bits from traditional instrument readouts and navigation data to road-hazard warnings. As these images demonstrate, Jag's Virtual Windscreen also can be used to serve up track-related items like lap times and racing lines, all while minimizing the potential for distraction.
Although still in the developmental stage, Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology for Jaguar Land Rover, feels strongly about the merits of this nascent technology. "By presenting the highest quality imagery possible, a driver need only look at a display once. Showing virtual images that allow the driver to accurately judge speed and distance will enable better decision-making and offer real benefits for every-day driving on the road, or the track."
Gesture control system eyed
Beyond the Virtual Windscreen, Epple confirmed that JLR also is working on an advanced gesture control system that could be introduced within the next few years. "We have identified which functions still need to be controlled by physical buttons and which could be controlled by gesture and carefully calibrated motion sensors," he notes, adding that gesture control currently is being tested in several applications, including sun visors, rear wipers and satellite navigation maps.
The JLR engineering team also is investigating ways to replace conventional rearview and side-view mirrors with 3D virtual images on the instrument panel. Using cameras located in the main cluster or the steering column area to track the position of the driver's head and eyes, the setup uses software to present a 3D projected image that allows the viewer to effectively gauge distances and positions of upcoming vehicles.
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