“Spotters” have been an integral part of off-roading. Cresting a hill or picking a way over obstacles is difficult when the hood is in the way seeing what’s there. The spotter, standing along the trail, points just where to go, how fast and how much to turn the wheel. But spotters will soon be on the breadline if something Land Rover calls a Transparent Hood—or Transparent Bonnet, in Britspeak—hits the market,
Transparent Hood displays a view of the terrain ahead as if the driver had Superman’s X-ray vision and was able look though the hood and engine bay of the Land Rover. Images from cameras at the front of the vehicle are combined in a heads-up display across the bottom of the windshield, merging the real world with a ‘see-through’ view of the terrain. While surround-view type displays are becoming fairly ordinary on upscale models, this is the first that provide a view through the vehicle instead of just around it.
The Transparent Hood system also shows the angle and position of the front wheels.
The system is being introduced on the Discovery Vision Concept vehicle at the New York International Auto Show. The concept, says Land Rover, “demonstrates a Land Rover design vision for a future family of premium SUVs built on key principles of emotive design, unrivalled capability and ultimate versatility.”
Transparent Hood is part of that. Dr. Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology for Jaguar Land Rover said, “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.
“Increasing autonomy”? Yep, that means off-roading without help. Spotters, the breadline starts to the right.
Or maybe you can get a spray bottle and a squeegee…