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A Land Rover with a transparent bonnet

The Land Rover Discovery Vision concept

17/04/2014 08:08 | Comments: 

Editor

Our heavyweight champion, Balázs, or better known as Assur on the premises is the news writer of the mother site, totalcar.hu. Oh yes, he’s an automotive engineer too. They say there isn’t a data that has ever escaped his mind, all we know is that he can drop into any conversation about any car that was made after the war, and he’ll be able to add a ton of details you won’t ever be able to find in books. He has been thinking of selling his longserving Volvo for years, so he always has some used car adverts open on his computer, just in case. Has a wife and two (almost grown-up) children.

The transparent bonnet technology gives an augmented view of reality, allowing a new level of driver awareness

We’ve heard about the new off-road vehicle before, but a further and rather important detail has been revealed recently which makes it unlike anything we’ve ever seen. We don’t dare to judge whether the Discovery Vision Concept really caters for a need or makes sense at all, but it sure is spectacular.

I t was based on a relatively simple idea: let’s show the driver what’s underneath the car via cameras. This makes for more precise off-road manoeuvring and makes driving into a pothole less likely. What’s really interesting is how the idea was realized: the driver doesn’t see the lower camera images on a monitor but overlaid atop it, on the bonnet of the car. What’s more, the images are augmented, giving the impression that the bonnet is transparent. Although the images are projected onto the windscreen by a head-up display, the illusion is pretty realistic if the pictures are anything to go by.

It sounds good, but could it really work? On tough off-road routes where the device could be most useful it would get dirty pretty quickly, whereas driving on paved roads or at a high speed, the bonnet becoming one with its surroundings might do more harm than good as the driver would be less able to tell where the car ends.

We have our doubts, but the transparent bonnet might as well be the latest in a string of inventions becoming the selling point of new cars – after the traffic sign recognition, the head-up display, or the reverse camera.

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