Land Rover’s 'Transparent Hood' Is the Future of Omniscient Driving

Seeing beneath your front tires could revolutionize rough-terrain drives.

Land Rover

Last year, Land Rover threw up a video on the web that showed off a new “transparent hood” technology they’ve been working on for future vehicles.

No, you’re not hallucinating — that’s the hood of the car turning invisible in front of your very eyes.

Okay, not quite. The technology actually works by using camera images that capture what’s going on further ahead of the vehicle, and compiling them to show the driver what the ground and space in front — normally blocked by the hood and the parts underneath — look like. Anyone on the outside still sees a normal-looking Land Rover driving around, while inside, the driver and any passengers see a full, uninhibited view of the road ahead.

This kind of technology would be most useful for drivers looking to take a trek out into the wilderness and places off the beaten path, where there are a few or no maintained roads for vehicles, and rough terrain can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous for the car and its passengers.

“As our vehicles become more capable and autonomous off-road, we will ensure the driver has the confidence to allow the car to continue to progress, over any terrain,” said Wolfgang Apple, the director of research and technology for Jaguar Land Rover, in a statement on Land Rover’s website. “We are developing new technologies including the Transparent Bonnet to give drivers an augmented view of reality to help them tackle anything from the toughest off-road route to the tight confines of an urban car park.”

This is just one of the many new emerging car technologies companies are investing millions of dollars into perfecting — and their imaginations only get more and more audacious. Case in point: Toyota’s recent patent for a flying car, and all of the research going into self-driving automobiles.

Since showing off the transparent hood concept, Land Rover has been mum about how close they are to getting this on the market, but it’s only a matter of time.

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