If you've ever done any serious off-roading, you know that one of the big challenges is finding just the right crawl path through, around or over obstacles – a task that often requires guidance from an outside observer, or a lot of hopping out of and into the vehicle.
In a perfect world, there'd be nothing to restrict the view of the terrain and the wheels. In the real world, there's an engine and a lot of sheet metal and other hardware restricting that view.
But Land Rover is experimenting with a system to overcome that limitation.
The company's Discovery Vision Concept, which made its debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show, incorporated what the company cals "Transparent Hood" virtual imaging technology – or "Transparent Bonnet" in Britspeak.
Using camera images from beneath the vehicle, projected onto a full width heads up display at the bottom of the windshield, the technology provides a visualization of what is underneath and directly in front of the vehicle, thus exposing otherwise hidden obstacles.
Effectively creating a ‘see-through’ view of the terrain through the hood and engine bay, the technology enables a driver climbing a steep incline or negotiating turns in a confined space to see a virtual view of both the terrain and the angle and position of the front wheels.
Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology for Jaguar Land Rover said, "As our vehicles become more capable and offer increasing autonomy off-road, we are developing new technologies including the Transparent Hood to give drivers an augmented view of reality."
Land Rover gave no indication as to if or when the technology will be put into production.