By on December 16, 2014

jlr_urbanwindscreen_followmeghostcar-and-transparent-pillars_01

Worried about checking those corners with those thick pillars in the way? Always wanted to bring the Forza experience into the real world? Jaguar Land Rover’s got you covered.

Regarding the pillars, JLR unveiled its 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen, which combines a high-end HUD with cameras embedded in the surface of a given vehicle’s A-, B- and C-pillars to help the driver see potential problems that would otherwise be obscured by said vehicle’s blind spots.

How? Upon checking the corners to change direction, a given pillar would go transparent, showing the pillar’s live video feed of what might be hiding. The same effect occurs upon approach toward an intersection, when the system automatically makes either right- or left-side pillars transparent.

The virtual windscreen can also pull information from the cloud — gas prices, restaurant locations, parking spots — helping to keep the driver’s eyes where they’re needed the most: on the road. This is further enhanced with the addition of JLR’s Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation, which places a ghost car in front of the driver to aid in arriving at a destination with help from the cloud.

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36 Comments on “Jaguar Land Rover Enhances Driving With Ghost Cars, Pillars...”


  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Ok, although it may seem kind of gimmicky the effect on the pillars is interesting. The “ghost car” is distracting to the point of dangerous in that confusing the image with a real car could result in a collision, though maybe I’m missing something there.

    • 0 avatar
      This Is Dawg

      Yeah, that ghost car is SO much more distracting than an audio or visible “left in 200 feet.” Funny that the same video that demonstrates the capability to remove obstructions from the driver’s view acts like adding different, flashier objects to the windshield is a great idea.

      I’ve long dreamed of the day when cars can sense the sun is blinding me and auto-tint the small area of window between the sun and my eyes. Do we know if this tech is a projected-on-the-windshield-from-below kind of thing? If so, I guess that dream is yet to be fulfilled.

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        “I’ve long dreamed of the day when cars can sense the sun is blinding me and auto-tint the small area of window between the sun and my eyes. Do we know if this tech is a projected-on-the-windshield-from-below kind of thing?”

        Like polarized sunglasses. I remember some cars having this back in the 80s, though I don’t remember the particulars or why they stopped

        • 0 avatar
          This Is Dawg

          Lol that……seems like a much easier solution. Although, I wonder if people wearing polarized sunglasses inside those cars was the reason they stopped?

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hx6ZArQum-A

          You don’t exactly want to sell a car with windows that turn off if you wear sunglasses…

        • 0 avatar
          This Is Dawg

          Damn, comment eaten.

          I wonder if they stopped because people were wearing polarized glasses/sunglasses in those cars and turning their heads at the right angle turned off the windows?

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      As long as the ghost car stops for pedestrians, traffic signals, and cross traffic, there shouldn’t be a problem. A lot of drivers go in a trance and follow the car in front of them anyway, especially at night and on a freeway. The ghost car seems to be taking advantage of that.

    • 0 avatar
      heoliverjr

      You’re missing the people who upon realizing they are on the opposite side of the highway/street that the navigation system is telling them to turn or exit on. The ones who decide the only course of action is to mindlessly dash across all other lanes of traffic(because turning around or getting off the next exit is just unreasonable!). A ghost car showing them where they need to be ahead of time might make them a little safer.

  • avatar
    darkwing

    How would the pillar displays control for parallax? Or will there be a monitor connected to the seat belt minder to ensure your stiff upper lip is in the correct position?

    It seems like enhanced signage — highlighting the correct lanes, overhead arrows indicating upcoming turns — would be more useful than the ghost car. They wouldn’t look quite as impressive in a marketing video, though.

  • avatar
    Stumpaster

    There should be a drop-screen covering the windshield that says Stay Home Dummy!

  • avatar
    energetik9

    In theory this sounds great, but I think in reality, this is gimicky. That or it’s just some patent they are exploring to showcase technology and “safety” thinking. I don’t notice the pillars in my car and I can’t remember the last time I felt they obstructed my view. But after renting a Camaro recently, the poor sight lines in that car could make this useful. Follow me is intersting, but I’m afraid most American drivers would develop tunnel vision at the expense of other business around them.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Having driven cars built in the ’50s and ’60s with wrap-around windshields, I always notice the obstructed view caused by thick, straight A pillars. This tech is trying to reduce the effect of the steeply raked windshields, the same way sensors and back-up cameras try to make up for the high belt line and steeply raked rear windows. Eventually, cars will be totally enclosed, with the windshield and all the windows replaced by computer screens. Then designers will go hog-wild with fantastic shapes, freed from any connection to the utility of the vehicle.

  • avatar
    Kendahl

    Roof strength regulations have led to A pillars thick enough to hide a small car. After scaring myself a few times, I learned to move my head from side to side to uncover the areas hidden by the pillars.

    The “ghost car” is a gimmick. My Infiniti’s navigation system displays a graphic with a distance countdown and provides spoken directions over the audio system. That works for me. Moving the graphic to a HUD would be a small improvement.

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      By move your head side to side, do you mean put all your weight on the center armrest and lean halfway across the car? For some turns it seems that’s what it takes:-(

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      By moving your head from s*de to s*de, you mean putting all your weight on the center armrest and leaning halfway across the car? For some turns, it seems like that’s what it takes :-(

    • 0 avatar
      Wheatridger

      Pillar thickness is only half the problem. Today’s trend towards flattened, swept-back windshields force the A-pillars to become longer and longer, until they can hide the view of a whole semi. With a more upright windshield, pillars are shorter, with less area obscured. Equally important, more upright windshields and pillars make the open, glassed areas less triangular and more rectangular, giving a simpler shape that’s easier to visually interpret.

  • avatar
    DeadWeight

    Jeremy Clarkson will travel to India (Tata’s HQ) & host a special “Best of Britain” episode where he’ll have WWII fighter planes towing ginormous British Flags w/wing walkers saluting the Queen, where he’ll pontificate as to how this “technological & design breakthrough” heralds the revival of the England’s manufacturing & technological renaissance.

  • avatar
    turf3

    Just make the A-pillars thin. Problem solved. What are you going to do when the exotic software starts malfunctioning?

  • avatar
    EAF

    I think the a-pillar hud setup is a great idea. Some heavy duty vehicles that Ive driven could greatly benefit from this technology.

  • avatar
    raresleeper

    Silly. Gimmicky.

    Shall I go on?

    Lol. I’ll never forget… I was blown away when I seen a HUD on the windshield of a McLaren Grand Prix.

    “Whoooooaaaaa!” said a high school aged raresleeper.

  • avatar
    burgersandbeer

    I hated ghost cars in Forza; I certainly don’t want them in real life.

    The ghost pillars are a nice idea, though I’m not clear how they work. I hope JLR doesn’t expect us to use our turn signals to activate them!

  • avatar

    Neat tech, but wasted on anyone who should be driving. But like the backup camera, if it can save 3 lives a year, then they’ll make it a law for all cars to have soon enough.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    “Regarding the pillars, JLR unveiled its 360 Virtual Urban Windscreen, which combines a high-end HUD with cameras embedded in the surface of a given vehicle’s A-, B- and C-pillars to help the driver see potential problems that would otherwise be obscured by said vehicle’s blind spots.”

    so… instead of working to engineer less blind spots, they simply added more in and then compensated with $3/unit Chinese cameras?

    Winning!

  • avatar
    stuki

    How come one of the price-little object complexioneering specialists from Germany or somewhere, haven’t seen fit to build a car with thin, graceful a-pillars, backed up by thick ones that deploy on an as needed basis, the way their rear convertible rollover hoops do? Just seems like a nobrainer to me.

    But regardless of implementation, JLR should at least be commended for thinking about meaningful issues, instead of simply being content to cash in on the current rapstar/washed up cougar blingbox fascination with their cars. Lots of people like RRs because of the spectacularly open view from the green house, where other SUVs manage to make you feel like you’re sitting in a bathtub barely able to peek over the belt line, despite sitting 6 feet up in the air.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I wonder if the ghost car has to break down as many times as the Jaguar does!

    Also, say you decide in the middle of a journey to take an exit and pick up some fuel. For the amount of time it takes the car to realize you’re veering off and reroute you, the hologram car is going to do – what? Appear to be driving at an angle through the grass? Snap over onto the road in front of you once the sat nav reroutes, causing your brain to think someone has just cut you off?

    It’s just entirely too complicated to be much use to anybody.

    • 0 avatar
      Lorenzo

      Your last line led me to believe you’re an old geezer before your time. Then I recalled the Gary Larson cartoon of a guy driving a spaceship with a cup of coffee on the roof. “Technology advances, people remain the same”.

      We’re adaptable to a point, but we just don’t evolve fast enough to yet be rid of Stone Age instincts, much less embrace new concepts. Plus, too many stupid people have driver’s licenses, like the woman who downloaded an iPhone app that could calculate her weight, stepped on the phone and broke it.

      • 0 avatar
        CoreyDL

        Ha, yep.

        There’s a point where driver assistance and advancement in the name of “safety” become a bigger distraction than the plain old driving. I think both the see-thru gimmick pillars and the ghost vehicle are well past that point.

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