Jaguar Land Rover has today unveiled a concept virtual windscreen that can turn your car into a real life video game. Capable of projecting high quality graphics, Jaguar Land Rover says it offers an enhanced view of the road or the race track. Imagine that, projecting the racing line onto the windscreen right in front of your eyes.
The concept makes use of the entire windscreen and not just one small portion with the intent of never needing to take your eyes and concentration from the road in front of you. It's the racing focus that really captures the imagination, however, and really does put you inside Gran Turismo behind the wheel of a real life car:
The high quality graphics mean that the driver only has to glance at them once and get all the necessary information, and Jaguar Land Rover is also developing a gesture control system to maintain focus behind the wheel.
As someone who likes nothing more than track driving this all sounds mightily exciting. It's still a concept at the moment, but Jaguar Land Rover has put together a little promotional video which you can catch below along with the full press release. I know I'm not going to be alone in getting excited by this, so be sure to drop your own thoughts into the comments below!
Whitley, UK: Jaguar Land Rover is creating cutting-edge technologies to develop new ways to give drivers higher quality, life-like graphics and information that will offer an enhanced 'virtual' view of the road or race track.
The 'Jaguar Virtual Windscreen' concept uses the entire windscreen as a display so the driver's eyes need never leave the road. High quality hazard, speed and navigation icons could all be projected onto the screen together. For performance drivers, imagery that could aid track driving includes:
Racing line and braking guidance. Virtual racing lines on the windscreen appear to be marked on the track ahead for optimum racing line, with changes in colour to indicate braking guidance. Ghost car racing. Improve your lap times by racing a 'ghost car' visualisation of your car on a previous lap, or compete against a lap uploaded from another driver. Virtual cones can be laid out on the track ahead for driver training. These could be moved as the driver's ability improves. Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology for Jaguar Land Rover, said: "We are working on research projects that will give the driver better information to enhance the driving experience. By presenting the highest quality imagery possible, a driver need only look at a display once. Showing virtual images that allow the driver to accurately judge speed and distance will enable better decision-making and offer real benefits for every-day driving on the road, or the track."
Jaguar Land Rover is developing a gesture control system to keep the driver's eyes on the road and reduce distraction by limiting the need to look at or feel for buttons and switches to press.
Jaguar Land Rover's gesture control research uses E-Field Sensing, which is based on the latest capacitive discharge touch screensand gives much greater accuracy than ever before. A smartphone today detects the proximity of a user's finger from 5mm. The Jaguar Land Rover system increases the range of the sensing field to around 15cm which means the system can be used to accurately track a user's hand and any gestures it makes inside the car.
"Gesture control has already become an accepted form of controlling anything from TV sets to games consoles. The next logical step is to control selected in-car features. We have identified which functions still need to be controlled by physical buttons and which could be controlled by gesture and carefully calibrated motion sensors," said Dr Epple. "The system is currently being tested on a number of features including sunblinds, rear wipers and satellite navigation maps. It has the potential to be on sale within the next few years."
Jaguar Land Rover's research team is also looking at technology that could replace rear view and external mirrors with cameras and virtual displays. Using two-dimensional imaging to replace mirrors is limited by the fact that single plane images on a screen do not allow the driver to accurately judge the distance or speed of other road users.
Jaguar Land Rover has therefore developed an innovative 3D instrument cluster, which uses the latest head- and eye-tracking technology to create a natural-looking, specs-free 3D image on the instrument panel. Cameras positioned in the instrument binnacle or steering column area track the position of the user's head and eyes. Software then adjusts the image projection in order to create a 3D effect by feeding each eye two slightly differing angles of a particular image. This creates the perception of depth which allows the driver to judge distance.