• Image Credit: Jaguar Land Rover
  • Image Credit: Jaguar Land Rover
  • Image Credit: Jaguar Land Rover
  • Image Credit: Jaguar Land Rover
Jaguar and Land Rover are known for making highly covetable luxury, performance and off-road vehicles, but the British automakers are on a bit of a technology bent lately. Keen to show that it can not only keep up but lead the way when it comes to safety and convenience features, JLR has come out with two more systems to show the way forward.

JLR's new 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen system, showcased on an XJ sedan, adopts two novel approaches to getting around town. First up is the Transparent Pillar system, which uses a combination of cameras and display screens embedded in the A, B and C-pillars to make them virtually disappear. Instead of acting as blind spots limiting the driver's visibility, the system uses the roof pillars to display what's going on around the car. If there's an obstacle hidden by the A-pillars, the system shows you the potential hazard as if the pillars weren't there, and brings the obstacle to the driver's attention. If the driver turns his or her head to see a vehicle passing alongside, it projects the vehicle on the inside of the B- or C-pillar.

The second technology integrated in the next-generation head-up display is the Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation system, which takes a page out of the video-game playbook by projecting a "ghost car" on the windscreen that the driver can then "follow" instead of listening to turn-by-turn directions or looking at a map in the dashboard display. The system is similar to what Jaguar recently showcased on an F-Type for track use, but applied for more practical use on city streets and highways.

The release of these systems also follows the integrated smart navigation and infotainment system displayed on the Range Rover Sport and the Transparent Bonnet showcased on the Discovery Vision concept. Though these new technologies might not be quite ready for production applications, their impressive sum total goes to show that Jaguar Land Rover is ahead of the curve when it comes to reducing driver distraction and increasing the driver's visibility. Scope out the latest systems in the press release and video below for a closer look of what the future holds for British-style luxury motoring.
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JAGUAR LAND ROVER DEVELOPS TRANSPARENT PILLAR AND 'FOLLOW-ME' GHOST CAR NAVIGATION RESEARCH

- 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."

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