Land Rover is developing new technology that effectively removes blind spots when towing a trailer, something that can be tricky for drivers. The new tech does that by making trailers appear see-through when being towed. Basically, the idea is to give drivers a transparent view allowing them to clearly see vehicles coming up behind.
The Transparent Trailer prototype works by combining the existing rear and two side mirror cameras with a wireless camera attached to the back of the trailer. These cameras are then able to create a live-action image of a see-through trailer that is projected to the rearview mirror to prevent the distraction of looking down to the infotainment screen.
“When you are overtaking it is instinctive to check your mirrors, but if you are towing your vision is often restricted with large blind spots. Our Transparent Trailer project is researching how we could offer a view out of the vehicle unrestricted by your trailer, no matter what its size or shape. Our prototype system offers a very high quality video image with no distortion or other cars or obstructions. This means the driver would have exactly the right information to make safe and effective decisions when driving or maneuvering, making towing safer and less stressful,” says Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology, Jaguar Land Rover.
The camera on the back of the trailer also eases stress by allowing the trailer to be calculated into the backup projection lines that appear on the infotainment screen.
The automaker is also working on a cargo checkup system called Cargo Sense that is geared towards horse owners. It uses a remote video camera inside the trailer along with a pressure sensors on the floor to detect cargo movement and also help with even packing. The camera and sensors then work together to sense if something is wrong and alert the driver who can pull over or have a passenger view the video on the infotainment screen and then make a decision.
“Gaining a better understanding of the environment inside the trailer, and the horse’s reaction to it, would make the animal more comfortable during travel and ensure the horse is capable of performing to the best of its ability, whether it’s at a local competition, or a major international event like the Land Rover Burghley Horse Trials,” says Dr. Emma Punt, Animal physiologist and associate of the British Animal Rescue and Trauma Care Association.
There is also a smartphone app for Cargo Sense that allows drivers to check up on their trailer cargo remotely.
Land Rover isn’t saying when these technologies will be available, but it will be showing them off at the Burghley Horse Trials that begin September 3rd.