JLR's virtual windscreen in the works

2014-07-11 07:59

   • 'Virtual windscreen’ to aid track driving
   • Hazard, speed, nav, racing line projected
   • Spectacles-free 3D instrument cluster

WHITLEY, England - Jaguar Land Rover claims it’s creating cutting-edge technologies to develop ways to give drivers life-like graphics and information that will offer an enhanced virtual view of road or track.

Earlier in April 2014 Wheels24 first reported on Land Rover's 'virtual bonnet' and then there's also the company's "intelligent self-learning vehicle” that could help prevent crashes by reducing driver-distraction.

The automaker says 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 on to the screen at the same time.

VIDEO: Jaguar's virtual windscreen technology

For performance drivers, imagery that could aid track-driving includes racing line and braking guidance. Virtual racing lines on the windscreen would appear to be marked on the track ahead, changes in colour would indicate braking guidance, says JLR.

Drivers will also be able to improve lap times by racing a ‘ghost car’ visualisation of your car on a previous lap, or compete against a lap uploaded from another driver. And virtual cones can be laid out on the track ahead for driver training and could be moved as the driver’s ability improves.


JLR’s director of research and technology Wolfgang Epple explained: “We're working on research projects that will give the driver better information to enhance the driving experience. By presenting the highest quality imagery 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 everyday driving on road or track.”

The company 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. Its gesture control research uses E-field sensing, which is based on the latest capacitive discharge touch screens and gives greater accuracy.

A smartphone detects the proximity of a user’s finger from 5mm. JLR’s 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.

Epple said: “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.

“The system is being tested on a number of features, among them sun blinds, rear wipers and satnav maps. It could be on sale in the next few years.”


JLR says its research team is also looking at technology that could replace rearview 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.

The automaker 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.

Camerasin the instrument binnacle or steering column area track the position of the user’s head and eyes. Software then adjusts the image projection 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.