Land Rover reveals 'transparent' hood

The heads-up display lets a driver see through the engine to the ground beneath

In what is definitely the stuff of science fiction, Land Rover has created a virtual transparent hood that allows drivers to see the ground directly in front of them.

Jaguar Land Rover plans to show off a "Transparent Hood" concept vehicle at the International Auto Show in New York next week.

The heads up view of the transparent hood. (Source: Land Rover).

The " Transparent Hood," as Land Rover calls it, is created through the use of camera images projected onto a full width heads up display at the bottom of the windshield, which provides the driver visibility to what is underneath and directly in front of the car.

It's literally like looking through the engine compartment at the ground.

Range Rover said the technology is designed as an aid in off-road driving and tight spaces.

How the Transparent Hood works (Source: Land Rover).

"Cameras located at the front of the vehicle capture data and are used to feed a Heads-Up Display across the bottom of the windshield, effectively creating a 'see-through' view of the terrain through the hood and engine bay, breaking new ground in visual driver assistance," Range Rover said in a statement about the technology.

Not only can a driver climbing a steep incline or negotiating turns see a virtual view of the terrain in front of the car, but can also see the angle and position of the front wheels.

"As our vehicles become more capable and offer increasing autonomy off-road, we will ensure the driver has the confidence to progress over any terrain," Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology for Jaguar Land Rover, said.

Watch a demonstration of Range Rover's "Transparent Hood" technology.

Lucas Mearian covers consumer data storage, consumerization of IT, mobile device management, renewable energy, telematics/car tech and entertainment tech for Computerworld. Follow Lucas on Twitter at @lucasmearian or subscribe to Lucas's RSS feed. His e-mail address is lmearian@computerworld.com.

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This story, "Land Rover reveals 'transparent' hood" was originally published by Computerworld.

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