NO MORE TRAILER BLIND-SPOT: Land Rover has created a system that eliminates blind-spots making towing a trailer/caravan safer. Image: Land Rover
• Transparent Trailer technology
• Sensors detect load-shifting
• Cargo Sense App monitors trailer
Pretoria – Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) is developing a Transparent Trailer concept that could remove the blind spot created when towing a caravan or trailer.
According to JLR: "This transparent view could allow the driver to clearly see vehicles coming up behind and help confidence by improving visibility while manoeuvring."
The automaker's prototype technology, including its new cargo sense system, will be demonstrated at the Burghley Horse Trials in the UK in September.
HOW IT WORKS
The prototype ‘Transparent Trailer’, fitted to a Range Rover, combines the video feed from the vehicle’s existing reversing camera with a video from a digital wireless camera fitted to the rear of the trailer or caravan.
The two video feeds are combined to create live video images that make the trailer behind appear transparent. When the trailer is coupled to the towing car, the live video feed would automatically appear in the rear view mirror inside the vehicle.
Watch the new 'Transparent Trailer' in action:
When reversing, the driver would also be able to view the camera feed from the back of the caravan/trailer through the infotainment screen, with guidance lines calibrated to help when reversing.
Cargo sense is a prototype system that combines a remote video camera inside the trailer and a mat of pressure sensors on the floor, that link wirelessly to the towing vehicle.
As well as helping customers load cargo evenly and uniformly, the pressure sensitive mat would detect if your load of boxes, antique furniture, a classic car or even a valuable horse is moving around the trailer in an unexpected or abnormal way while travelling.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology Jaguar Land Rover, said: “Many of our customers tow valuable cargoes for business and pleasure, so we are researching a range of technologies that would enhance the towing experience and make it safer – for the driver and even their horses.
"A permanent video feed through to the dashboard from the trailer has the potential to distract the driver from the road ahead. Instead we are developing a more intelligent system that is able to detect a problem with the horse in the trailer and warn the driver. The video is then available for owners to view the inside of the trailer and support a decision to pull over and check the horse.”
The Cargo Sense app allows the driver to check the status of both trailer and load remotely when the owner is away from the trailer.
If a horse owner is away from the horse trailer while walking the course at an equestrian event for example, the system could automatically alert the owner via SMS if the horse is distressed, if the temperature inside has exceeded safe levels, or if the trailer is being tampered with.
KEEPING AN EYE ON YOUR CARGO: The Cargo Sense system uses a remote camera inside a trailer that links wirelessly to the towing vehicle. Image: Land Rover
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