Automaker Jaguar Land Rover wants to make driving safer by keeping drivers from having to take their eyes off the road even to look down at their dashboards. Somewhat ironically, it plans to do this by putting such vital pieces of information on the car’s windshield itself, developing what it calls a Virtual Windscreen.
It’s not that hard to imagine what Jaguar Land Rover has in mind. Just think “car of the future” and you will most likely conure up images of windshields with holographic projections and whatnot. And that’s not far from the reality that the car maker wants to create. But considering the company’s products lean more on the sporty side, it isn’t surprising that the features it has in mind for the Virtual Windscreen have a similar inclination.
Three main features that Jaguar Land Rover lists have to do with race training more than everyday driving. The windshield will display virtual markers for racing lines and even for braking guidance. There will also be virtual cones that will seemingly line up the track for for training. Perhaps more amusing, if not distracting, will be the ghost cars that will appear to give you a virtual racing rival. The company is also looking into possibly replacing rear view and external mirrors with cameras. But instead of a regular flat video feed, it will project the camera view on the Virtual Windscreen in true 3D fashion, without the goggles, so that drivers can correctly judge the distance of objects.
Jaguar Land Rover, however, isn’t content with fiddling with the windshield. In the same theme of cutting down on driver distraction, it is also researching ways to implement gesture controls for various functions of the car, like sunblinds, rear wipers and others. The concept is that even while drivers still have to take one hand away from the wheel, which most drivers are probably accustomed to, they won’t have to fumble over buttons and knobs and can access the function they need with just a wave of the hand.
Advancements in automotive technology such as this arent always a walk in the park and Jaguar Land Rover’s distraction-free promise still needs to be put to the test. It will also take time before all the pieces are set. It will take time to actually implement the technology, time to get through the usual bureaucratic inquisition, and time to let drivers acclimate to the new technologies that, in the beginning, will most likely be more distracting than ever.