Valeo touts technology improving visibility when towing trailers

Combines camera images to make the trailer magically disappear

Auto supplier Valeo is showing off new technology at CES that allows motorists who are towing a trailer to visualize what's behind it, effectively removing the giant blind spot it creates.

Known as the trompe l'oeil phenomenon, it is made possible by cameras mounted at the rear of both the vehicle and the trailer. Valeo's XtraValue Trailer system combines footage from both into a single, homogenous image that displays on a small screen for the driver, making it easier to change lanes, back up and park. It's a neat trick, though we'd note it also adds an extra screen inside the vehicle, where it'd be nice to have it integrated with the factory touchscreen. Hopefully that's coming.

Elsewhere at CES, Valeo is jumping on the augmented reality bandwagon by showcasing its Voyage XR technology, which creates an avatar of a person of your choice — a friend, for example — in the rearview mirror that is able to interact with you using sound and image in real time. The person behind that avatar, meanwhile, is connected with a virtual-reality headset and controllers, as shown in the video below. It's also demonstrating test-track demos of its Drive4U Remote system to allow operators to remotely operate autonomous vehicles in extreme circumstances. Together, the two technologies mean a car could be controlled remotely by someone through VR that enables them to experience the inside of the vehicle.

Also, the company is showcasing PictureBeam Monolithic, its high-definition lighting system developed with LED manufacturer CREE. It projects a beam of light on the road ahead that promises not to blind other drivers while also projecting useful information and images onto the pavement.

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