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Land Rover Demos "Transparent Hood"

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the oh-look-a-possum dept.

Transportation 172

cartechboy (2660665) writes "When we were kids, we were promised flying cars in the future, like The Jetsons. Well, now it's the future, and we don't have any flying cars. But Land Rover just unveiled some crazy new technology called the Transparent Hood system. It's brilliant in its simplicity, and yet quite complex in its implementation. Using a web of camera images and projectors, the Transparent Hood system projects the area just in front of and underneath the nose of the vehicle onto a head-up display along the lower portion of the windshield. Not only is this obviously breathtaking, but when it comes to off-roading—or parking in tight urban spaces—this could change the game. It will allow drivers to see precisely what's below them and immediately in front of them allowing precise placement of the vehicle's front wheels. The system also displays key vehicle data including speed, incline, roll angle, steering position, and drive mode. People, this is the future, and the future is now."

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So... (1, Funny)

taiwanjohn (103839) | about 7 months ago | (#46705077)

Now I can see the potholes as they rattle my bones in real time. Kewl! ;-)

Can This Be Adapted... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705123)

...so that I can see the ground hidden by my Big Fat Beer Gut?

Re:So... (5, Interesting)

cusco (717999) | about 7 months ago | (#46705449)

The only reason why this design is even seen as useful is because of the very poor ergonomic design of autobodies that has become popular the last few years. I have a 2002 Tacoma, I can see all four corners of the vehicle. With a glance I can tell within six inches of exactly where each corner of the vehicle is. We used to have a 1995 Corolla, and I could park it in any spot. My wife has a new Audi, and until recently I was driving a fairly new Corolla supplied by my employer. Hate parking those things, you can't see the corners of the vehicle so can only guess as to how far away I am from the next vehicle.

Re:So... (1)

dubyrunning (1359729) | about 7 months ago | (#46705849)

Can you see underneath your Tacoma's engine? Because you could with this new system.

Re:So... (1)

dsginter (104154) | about 7 months ago | (#46705941)

I can't even see the hood of my vehicle while seated. Why would I need to make it transparent?

Re:So... (1)

dubyrunning (1359729) | about 7 months ago | (#46706011)

Well I guess the allure is that if you normally can see your hood, you'd rather be able to see through it.

Re:So... (3, Insightful)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 7 months ago | (#46706185)

Bad for you perhaps, but the reason we have those high curved bonnets now is to protect pedestrians when you hit them. It isn't the initial contact with their legs that gives them fatal injuries, it's the blow as their head slams down against the bonnet. Previously the engine block tended to be right under the thin metal cover so their skull effectively went into that. Now there is more room for the bonnet to flex and cushion the blow.

Off-roading? (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 months ago | (#46706093)

Off-roading? The cameras would be caked with mud and dust within 15 minutes. How is this going to be helpful?

Re:So... (5, Funny)

davester666 (731373) | about 7 months ago | (#46706149)

Finally, I can tailgate to within 6 inches of the guy in front of me. I'll get home that much faster!

Re:So... (0)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46706239)

Having done some off-road driving the big advantage here is when you crest a steep hill and need to see what is immediately on the other side of the crest. A variation on this is when you crest a hill, on a narrow trail, which may be curved, which makes it nearly impossible to see what is beyond and which way you need to turn to stay on track or avoid a hazard, which you can't get out and see.

It's nice, but not something you couldn't have rigged yourself and I'm pretty sure kits exist for.

Wat good in da hood (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705097)

That's right, none of yall niggaz can see none of my crimes!

More problems. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705113)

Perhaps I'm just old school, but the more features such as these makes me think that there's just another thing to go wrong.

hah, captcha is "redneck".

Re:More problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705187)

I know right, what if this thing breaks and it's just like every other car that has been produced up until this point! Think of the carnage!

Re:More problems. (1, Informative)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#46705301)

Yes, because having this system operational is clearly crucial to operation of the vehicle, and you won't be able to just drive without it....

I guess you prefer not having a radio in your car either, since that's "just another thing to go wrong".

Re:More problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705425)

OP here.

No, but I'm sure you'll end up having an idiot light blinking along with a voice recorder saying there's an issue. Then come time for inspections, you'll get a fail sticker because OBD II has picked up an error code on one of the cameras. This is all coming from a guy that fixes his own vehicles. Ya'll want to pay some monkey in a suit to hack away at a vehicle that you trust your loved ones in by all means go for it. Last time someone worked on one of my cars it was for an oil change and I lost a tire at 50 mph. 22 years later I still won't allow anyone to work on my vehicles.

I'm sure the majority on /. don't even pump their own gas. I just speak from my perspective as the guy that has to fix all this electronic shit.

Re:More problems. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705509)

Why would you allow them to do an oil change at 50mph?!

Re:More problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705551)

OP again.

Better question is, and I never got a straight answer for, was why they removed my tire for an oil change...

Re:More problems. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705729)

I don't think I've ever encountered a service station that did an oil change without a basic inspection as well. They took off your tire to check your brake pads. It's common practice and probably the policy of the service station.

Re:More problems. (3, Insightful)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#46705797)

Ding ding! Places like that are always looking to upsell, so when you come in for an oil change, they look for something else to sell you, such as an air filter change, a transmission oil change, brake service, etc. Sometimes they even do things like show you a worn belt or filter which isn't even from your car, claiming it is, and saying it needs to be changed.

Unfortunately, many times the monkeys at these service places don't know how to put wheels back on correctly.

Re:More problems. (2)

camperdave (969942) | about 7 months ago | (#46705925)

Why would you allow them to do an oil change at 50mph?!

Because doing one at 100mph is dangerous.

Re:More problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705981)

Last time I checked, the OBD2 spec doesn't allow for non-emission issues to trigger the light.

Re:More problems. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46706039)

I learned about the changing one's oil when I was in college... and just told the lube place to do "the works". They gave me a $400 bill... and the next day, I had to get the vehicle towed to a real shop for a transmission rebuild because they sliced one of the ATF hoses.

Do it yourself, or find a competent mechanic. The fast lube places are asking for trouble.

Re:More problems. (0)

sexconker (1179573) | about 7 months ago | (#46706351)

OP here.

No, but I'm sure you'll end up having an idiot light blinking along with a voice recorder saying there's an issue. Then come time for inspections, you'll get a fail sticker because OBD II has picked up an error code on one of the cameras. This is all coming from a guy that fixes his own vehicles. Ya'll want to pay some monkey in a suit to hack away at a vehicle that you trust your loved ones in by all means go for it. Last time someone worked on one of my cars it was for an oil change and I lost a tire at 50 mph. 22 years later I still won't allow anyone to work on my vehicles.

I'm sure the majority on /. don't even pump their own gas. I just speak from my perspective as the guy that has to fix all this electronic shit.

There's absolutely no way you are certified to perform all regulated maintenance and inspections, properly dispose of hazardous materials, or invest tens of thousands of dollars into equipment you use once in a blue moon for your personal vehicles. Either you're being negligent with your vehicles and breaking the law with certain things (like emissions checks or whatever the fuck else is regulated in your area), or lying.

Re:More problems. (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46706377)

Oh, sure, if the system is done right.

My last car merged the radio/voice recognition/other fncy shit system with the HVAC in a single card. So if anything went horribly wrong with any of it, the car was effectively undrivable in bad weather, as you lost the ventilation.

So, yes, the radio going wrong would make the car undrivable, because of quite common design decisions (But hey, when I used the voice system, it would turn off the ventilation fans so it could hear me. Tricks like that that seem silly after a week do help sell cars, so I don't see that sort of BS going away).

Re:More problems. (1)

NatasRevol (731260) | about 7 months ago | (#46705329)

I think you need to go back to school and figure out the logic of the failure modes before commenting.

Re:More problems. (1)

lgw (121541) | about 7 months ago | (#46706393)

You seem to be assuming that cars are well-engineered with fault isolation, such that one non-essential piece breaking won't have side effects that make the car undrivable. I'd like to live in the world where that was true - that would be a pleasant world.

Transparent Aluminum? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705115)

I thought this was going to be an article about transparent aluminum, beam me up Scotty!

Shut up already (1, Funny)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#46705121)

and take my money!

Technology doesn't make up for lack of ability. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705129)

As much as you cock-gobbling uncoordinated fucktards who frequent
this site want to worship at the altar of the throbbing technology
cock, you will still be second class citizens when it comes to activities
like driving, which require real skill.

So stay the fuck out of the left lane with your Prius, you faggots.

Technological fix for bad fundamental design (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705137)

Maybe if the hood wasn't so long or the windshield wasn't so small they wouldn't be having this issue!

Transparent Bonnet (1)

ElectraFlarefire (698915) | about 7 months ago | (#46705139)

Not even Land Rover call it a 'Hood'.. That's an American thing.
It's British (Or at least, traditionally) car, at least keep the name right!
(It's called that in the video.)

Re:Transparent Bonnet (5, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | about 7 months ago | (#46705299)

Okay, okay. Don't get a bee in your hood...

( :-P )

Re:Transparent Bonnet (1)

Sique (173459) | about 7 months ago | (#46705359)

In the video, it is mentioned that Land Rover itself calls it "Transparent Hood" in North America.

not me! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705141)

as a frequent off road driver I think this would be a crappy device to have, very disorienting

Re:not me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705163)

Don't add it as an option, or don't switch it on if standard.

Was it that hard?

Re:not me! (3, Interesting)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#46705323)

as a frequent off road driver I think this would be a crappy device to have, very disorienting

You might be right as a frequent off-road driver - but as someone who occasionally drives off-road I would welcome it, as I get a really disconcerting feel when you come to the brow of a steep hill and all you can see in the windscreen is sky but you have to keep on driving until the car goes over the bump and you can see again.

So.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705145)

The "demo" is just a "virtual prototype in testing", also known as: CGI. What an innovative concept... not. Please get back to me once you really have something to show.

Re:So.... (2)

timeOday (582209) | about 7 months ago | (#46706275)

Costs a little more, but the F35 Joint Strike Fighter [youtube.com] actually has this capability:

"These helmets are designed to utilize cameras on the outside of the aircraft to project the pilot's surroundings onto his mask. This way, if the pilot needs to look at the ground directly below him, he no longer has to roll the aircraft. He can simply look straight down, essentially looking through the floor and his own body!"

Not just visible light, either, so you can see at night and through clouds...

It's not on a HUD though, you have to wear the helmet mounted display system [defense-update.com] .

Cue the naysayers... (0)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46705165)

Recently both rear view cameras and sideview camera systems have been criticised as a bad idea by some here on Slashdot.

This Land Rover invisible hood system seems beyond criticism. But I'm sure slashdot naysayers will find an angle anyway. Go for it...

Re:Cue the naysayers... (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 7 months ago | (#46705219)

Recently both rear view cameras and sideview camera systems have been criticised as a bad idea by some here on Slashdot.

This Land Rover invisible hood system seems beyond criticism. But I'm sure slashdot naysayers will find an angle anyway. Go for it...

I think the biggest legitimate criticism that came out of the rear/side camera replacement of mirrors was that you had to refocus your eyes from infinity to dashboard to infinity each time you glanced at the video display. In this case you will already be tracking your bonnet so that the required change in eye focus will be minimal.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about 7 months ago | (#46706209)

I hadn't even considered that issue. My problem with it is reliability, replacement cost, and glare issues from driving in daylight. My backup camera is great, except I can't see it when my car is pointed north in the morning and the sun shines onto the screen through the sunroof.

If it breaks, well a mirror face is a $30 replacement, installed.

The upside, on the other hand, is at night when people's headlghts are blinding, they would only ever be as bright as the LCD can get, and not shining a beam into my eyes. Worst case, is the rear view is unusable.... worst case with mirrors is quite an annoyance.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705235)

1st rule of the internet: never feed the trolls

somebody with points mod this as flamebait

Re:Cue the naysayers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705245)

Recently both rear view cameras and sideview camera systems have been criticised as a bad idea by some here on Slashdot.

This Land Rover invisible hood system seems beyond criticism. But I'm sure slashdot naysayers will find an angle anyway. Go for it...

Just be prepared to have to constantly get out of your vehicle to clean all those different lenses, or else camera tech is useless.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (2)

OzPeter (195038) | about 7 months ago | (#46705279)

Just be prepared to have to constantly get out of your vehicle to clean all those different lenses, or else camera tech is useless.

Why do you think that has to be manually done? Air blast of sensors to keep them clean is common in industry, and various high end cars already have things like head light washer/wipers.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 7 months ago | (#46705283)

You mean like in all those cars that currently have reversing cameras, etc.?

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

David_W (35680) | about 7 months ago | (#46705611)

Yes, actually. Most annoying aspect of my back-up camera is when it gets dirty, or wet. Not all the manufacturers have figured out keeping them clean automatically yet.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46706037)

Never had a problem in my Tacoma. And I often haul dirt. If its wet, it doesn't work well. But after it dries its fine. So it works 90% of the time. Better than nothing.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 7 months ago | (#46705331)

Recently both rear view cameras and sideview camera systems have been criticised as a bad idea by some here on Slashdot.

This Land Rover invisible hood system seems beyond criticism. But I'm sure slashdot naysayers will find an angle anyway. Go for it...

Just be prepared to have to constantly get out of your vehicle to clean all those different lenses, or else camera tech is useless.

I would hope there's be high-pressure water jets to do it for you.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705407)

I recently drove a (older) Toyata Prius. The backup camera was useless unless the lens was perfectly clean, and I quickly learned to just ignore it.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#46705315)

Too late, someone already called it "just another thing to go wrong". It sure seems that these idiotic Slashdotters would rather just drive around in Model Ts. Is there some other site that covers tech news, and actually has techies commenting rather than anti-tech luddites? This site is pathetic.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (2)

Scottingham (2036128) | about 7 months ago | (#46705387)

phys.org rules

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46705453)

Ah, that was an AC. My settings mean that they aren't generally visible to me. Nothing of value is lost.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 7 months ago | (#46705557)

>> Slashdotters would rather just drive around in Model Ts

Not so sure about that. A lot of start-ups and younger tech companies now seem to be encouraging a culture of self-righteous car-hating hippie-liberals that want to ride pedal bikes everywhere.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#46705833)

No, cyclists and car-haters don't run around telling everyone how they love their 1970s or 1980s car and don't need "all this electronic shit".

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

JustNiz (692889) | about 7 months ago | (#46706089)

Oh that's what most slashdotters think? Cool then I fit right in :-)

Re:Cue the naysayers... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705831)

How about you call it "a tax on poor people". It sounds worse that way, except when you realize that it's not so much a tax, as deliberately charging poor people more to make rich people richer.

Re:Cue the naysayers... (1)

necro81 (917438) | about 7 months ago | (#46705853)

But I'm sure slashdot naysayers will find an angle anyway

Camera...angle...

I see what you did there.

invisible hood is "beyond criticism" (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 7 months ago | (#46705883)

This is not a good application of technology...

ALL OF THIS IS TO INCREASE SHOWROOM SALES

this is about hooking in soccer moms, with an eye to short term sales figures only, by dazzling them with technology they will never use

no ammount of technology can account for an **inattentive driver**

this is bunk application of tech....and to pretend otherwise is bad for our industry

Re:invisible hood is "beyond criticism" (2)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46706059)

ALL product improvements are to increase sales.

Have you actually looked at the marketing video. It has nothing to do with parking - for which it would have little benefit, and which is already addressed by other technology. This is for off-roading. Where exact placement of the wheels is a significant benefit.

the video is cool (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 7 months ago | (#46706325)

I have no problem admiting that the video is cool...but this is more about design trends and the implications

first...what was depicted in the video is not "off roading"

2nd...the most "off roading" these Range Rovers will ever see is if the Soccer Mom ever accidentally backs into a flower garden

again I think the video is cool, and the general concept has many awesome applications

this *particular* application is not one of them

"This could change the game." (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705179)

No, it allows me to see what I'm about to drive over, and might be able to avoid if I'm moving very slowly.

I'm sure the military will pay for this, because goddammit private companies have a RIGHT to profit, and public money is the best way to achieve this.

Transparent bonnets (5, Funny)

GodfatherofSoul (174979) | about 7 months ago | (#46705189)

Sounds like Amish porn

Parallax, and why stop at the hood? (1)

wisebabo (638845) | about 7 months ago | (#46705203)

Well this will work (well?) for one point of view, the driver presumably. The passenger will see a distorted view unless they use some sort of system that can show two different images for two (or more) different viewpoints. They could use the "micro louvers" screen filters (patented by 3M I think) or some more sophisticated system that are used on some large screen LCD TVs that provide multiple points of view (or 3D images) without glasses. It's the same problem basically.

Why stop with just the hood? Why not make the door panels, the dash, even the roof and supports transparent? This would require displays that can be placed on curved surfaces but with OLEDs that is hardly a show-stopper. The big advantage to this, as opposed to most applications, is that the position of the driver (and passenger's) head and eyes are pretty well defined so the system wouldn't have to be calibrated to work with a lot of extreme cases (say with the driver's head down around the feet).

Re:Parallax, and why stop at the hood? (3, Insightful)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#46705241)

If a passenger if looking through the driver's Heads Up Display, you're doing it wrong.

Re:Parallax, and why stop at the hood? (2)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about 7 months ago | (#46705495)

Depends on who she is and where you are parked.

"along the lower portion of the windshield" (1)

wisebabo (638845) | about 7 months ago | (#46705501)

The article (and video) doesn't make clear how large the "heads up display" is but considering that they say it is along the lower portion of the windshield that implies it must be pretty big (to cover the area of the "hood").

The range rover isn't a military aircraft where the H.U.D. is going to be relatively near the pilot's face and directly in front of the pilot. For the range rover it wouldn't be safe or convenient to hang a piece of glass so near an ordinary automobile driver. The H.U.D.'s purpose in this case is to "mask" or overlay the hood which subtends a large part of the driver's viewing angle. Since it is placed far away (at the lower part of the windshield) it must be large. Hence it will also occupy a large portion of the (front seat) passenger's viewpoint and thus will project a distorted view unless corrected as I described above.

Re:"along the lower portion of the windshield" (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | about 7 months ago | (#46705751)

A digital screen spread across the dashboard is hardly a heads up display. It might be more like Google Glass.

Re:"along the lower portion of the windshield" (1)

BasilBrush (643681) | about 7 months ago | (#46706243)

The classic meaning of heads up display is that you don't have to look down at your instruments, but keep looking out of the window. Overlaying reality. As this appears to projection onto the lower portion of the windscreen, it would qualify as heads up.

Google Glass can't do heads up. It's display is up and to one side, and can't overlay reality.

Re:Parallax, and why stop at the hood? (1)

number17 (952777) | about 7 months ago | (#46706191)

Technically they call it a Smart Windscreen Head-Up Display [motorauthority.com] . That name implies that the windscreen will be the display, not a pair of goggles. In that case, there would be a distortion of images.

Promised? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705205)

When we were kids, we were promised flying cars in the future

Who promised this? Was there a delivery date in their "promise"?

People dreamed of one day having these things, but nobody promised them.

Brilliant. Now for proximity sensors. (1)

Chirs (87576) | about 7 months ago | (#46705211)

I'd also love to have proximity sensors giving the distance from any part of my car to any obstacle. It'd make parallel parking a lot quicker if I could get a readout showing how many inches there are between my car and the vehicle behind me.

Rearview cameras can be useful, but unless you've got one like an RV mounted way up high aiming down at the back of the vehicle they won't help much in parking.

Re:Brilliant. Now for proximity sensors. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705349)

Followed closely by implementation of appropriate armaments...

Re:Brilliant. Now for proximity sensors. (2)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about 7 months ago | (#46705593)

Nissan already offers that.

http://www.nissan-global.com/EN/TECHNOLOGY/OVERVIEW/avm.html

Re:Brilliant. Now for proximity sensors. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#46705603)

I'd also love to have proximity sensors giving the distance from any part of my car to any obstacle. It'd make parallel parking a lot quicker if I could get a readout showing how many inches there are between my car and the vehicle behind me.

Couple Arduinos, couple ultrasonic rangefinders, couple of LED strips...

Took long enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705281)

With the amount of money that goes into building a high-end car, you could equip it with a shitload of environmental sensors that monitor every tiny part of its surroundings - radar, sonar, infrared, visual, etc. The engine already gets monitored very extensively, and yet outside sensors have barely reached the point of dash-cams and reverse parking sonars - and even those aren't yet common-place.

Re:Took long enough (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about 7 months ago | (#46705355)

Outside sensors are becoming much more commonplace on not-so-expensive cars. I test-drove a Mazda 3 recently (about $27K fully loaded) which had not only a rearview camera, but a blind-spot radar warning system. (I'm not sure if it had parking sonar sensors or not; I didn't get to parallel park it, and a lot of modern parking sensors hide completely behind the bumpers instead of being obvious like in earlier models.)

Rearview cameras will be mandatory in all new cars in a few years. I wouldn't be surprised if blind-spot warning systems follow suit shortly after.

There's been high-end cars for a little while with thermal infrared imaging; I imagine those will be commonplace in another decade or two.

Re:Took long enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705541)

I test drove a 1989 Civic Hatchback with the wrong bonnet on it. The original bonnet was damaged when a washing machine fell on it. The owner pulled a bonnet off of a 1989 Civic Sedan,donor automobile, but it turns out that the the Sedan's body is every so slightly different than the Hatch, or the Wagon. So in this case, the hood sticks out a little bit, kind of like a person with an overbite. Anyway, the AC works, and the 5 speed manual gear box shifted pretty good, with only 3rd gear slightly grinding on quick shifts, which is easily solved by double clutching. In the end I took the car home for $1300. The engine does not smoke, or knock, and I got 450 miles out of my first fill-up of the tank. The average young person jumps into a $20,000 "starter" vehicle, and at the 5 year mark, spends over $45,000 TCO. And people today wonder why they will remain slaves to the bank, their employer, their w2 form, their cubicle for the rest of their lives. Correction. They don't wonder. They like it that way.

Good for Offroading... Offroading = mud (5, Insightful)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#46705309)

The thing I don't get with these camera displays is the fact that they don't seem to have wipers on the camera, with cleaning solution.
Snow/Salt/Mud/Dirt really collect and make visibility bad. If you are offroading then one puddle and your feature is useless.

That's OK! (1)

DarthVain (724186) | about 7 months ago | (#46706205)

No one uses a 100,000$ dollar Land Rover for offroading silly! Are you nuts?

They are used by rich soccer Moms to drop off little Bobby at practice. Those camera may prevent them from running over Jimmy when they have had one too many cocktails and get all sassy and decide to take a short cut over the neighboring pitch...

Useless (2)

Khyber (864651) | about 7 months ago | (#46705341)

" Not only is this obviously breathtaking, but when it comes to off-roading—or parking in tight urban spaces—this could change the game."

Not when the people using said vehicles aren't even familiar with the basics on how to handle and maneuver.

If you need assistance to parallel park in a tight urban space, you either need a smaller vehicle, or you need to call a cab or walk.

On top of that, you shouldn't have been given a license in the first place.

F35 Joint Strike Fighter (1)

Latent Heat (558884) | about 7 months ago | (#46705357)

Maybe Land Rover could second-source this see-through-opaque-surfaces sensor system to Lockheed to solve the problems with the virtual reality helmet on the Lightning II aircraft (the F35 JSF)?

Tractors already do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705365)

Tractors have had this feature for years. They are designed so that the front wheels are directly visible from the cab. A simple solution to a simple problem.

Re:Tractors already do this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46706015)

That works wonders for aerodynamics at highway speeds.

Having done a bit of off-roadnig... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705367)

in Utah's Canyonlands, I'm not sure I *want* to see what's just in front of the bumper! It can be a long way down that uber-steep slope...

Great! If you can see the hood (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705373)

This is awesome...but how will it work on the large number of modern cars where you can't even see the hood from the normal driving position? They'd have to find some way to display it in car.

pretty cool (1)

excelsior_gr (969383) | about 7 months ago | (#46705417)

This is a pretty cool feature. I have seen a similar implementation in a Mercedes and a Toyota, but for backwards driving only. It would turn on the camera as soon as you shifted into reverse.

Darn! The hood is NOT made of transparent aluminum (1)

psychogre (1475893) | about 7 months ago | (#46705559)

I guess they would have to get that pesky engine out of the way for it to do any good then...

"So when you hit a pedestrian.... (1)

MrIlios (2524820) | about 7 months ago | (#46705575)

...you can see if he was a friend of yours." Just as Tex Avery Predicted in his cartoons:- http://vimeo.com/32889552 [vimeo.com] (see 10m 50s in). Pure Genius.

It's been invented already... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705595)

...ever since there is a 2nd row of seats in a vehicle: When driving parents ignore screaming kids at the back rows. That's Trans-parenthood.

Jeep, license this tech already! (1)

docwatson223 (986360) | about 7 months ago | (#46705659)

Moab and Rubicon Trails would rock with this!

It's no coincidence that the hood was black (1)

muhula (621678) | about 7 months ago | (#46705671)

With a light colored hood, the heads up display during the day would be washed out.

I imagine that cars with this technology would benefit from a matte black hood, making future cars look like modders with carbon fiber hoods. Next, we'll see some technology that requires a huge spoiler :)

How soon before standard? (1)

Grizzley9 (1407005) | about 7 months ago | (#46705697)

I understand that backup cameras will be mandatory in cars by 2018. Related, I can see this being very use for larger vehicles where ground clearance impedes visibility. A small object or child can easily disappear below the line of visibility on larger SUV's and trucks and this seems to make it visible without being a distraction (and able to toggle off/on). Safety aside I can see this being very useful for driving in tight spaces and other instances where seeing the ground and wheels would be immensely helpful.

International solved this 40 years ago... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46705747)

A friend had an International Scout that was so rusty you could see through the hood and both fenders. This is not new tech!

Truly Life Changing (1)

rdelsambuco (552369) | about 7 months ago | (#46705765)

We are clearly approaching the singularity.

Technology as demonstrated by Blaine the Mono (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46706021)

Instead of 'Star Trek did it!' It's 'Stephen King did it!'

brilliant (1)

slashmydots (2189826) | about 7 months ago | (#46706051)

That's what we need; a Land Rover where the driver can't tell where the front end actually is. I'm sure they won't hit any hydrants/curbs/garage walls.

Video Game (1)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | about 7 months ago | (#46706141)

This will take the senior citizen's favorite game "Farmer's Market" to a whole new level of interaction!

Or we could ... (1)

PPH (736903) | about 7 months ago | (#46706223)

... just not hand out drivers licenses to people who can't parallel park.

Equipment on a Land Rover isn't going to save children. That's a rich person's car. Rich people's kids don't play in the street. Poor people will continue to be run over by clapped-out F150s.

Not new. (1)

BradMajors (995624) | about 7 months ago | (#46706287)

We did pretty much the same thing with US Army helicopters almost twenty years ago.

Maybe not (1)

Solandri (704621) | about 7 months ago | (#46706391)

While working in the shop in undergrad (all engineering majors were required to take a metalworking shop course so we wouldn't come up with stupid designs which were impossible to manufacture), the professor told us to be especially careful with the lathe. Because it's spinning and parts of it appear semi-transparent, it apparently doesn't register in some people's brains as really being there. I thought that was silly, then discovered that I was one of those people and nearly stuck my hand into the spinning lathe clamp. I've taken note of this deficiency in my visual system and am especially careful around things like fan blades and aircraft propellers (I have accidentally stuck my fingers into rotating CPU fans, which fortunately don't have enough mass to do much damage).

I suspect if you made a semi-transparent virtual view through the hood, people like me might "forget" there's a hood there in the first place thereby increasing the danger rather than reducing it. A view of only critical areas like directly in front of the tires would probably be safer, rather than making the entire hood semi-transparent for the gee whiz factor.
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