In the wake of its see-through bonnet technology Land Rover has revealed it is developing a see-through trailer concept that would remove the blind spot created when towing a caravan or trailer.
A transparent view would allow the driver to clearly see vehicles coming up behind and improve visibility whilst manoeuvring.
The prototype ‘Transparent Trailer’ system combines the video feed from the vehicle’s existing surround camera system - which includes the reversing camera and a camera on each wing mirror - with a video from a digital wireless camera placed on the rear of the trailer or caravan. The video feeds are then combined to create the live video images that make the trailer behind appear see-through.
When the trailer is coupled to the towing car, the live video feed would automatically appear in the rear view mirror inside the vehicle.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology, said: “When you are overtaking it is instinctive to check your mirrors, but if you are towing your vision is often restricted with large blind spots.
“Our Transparent Trailer project is researching how we could offer a view out of the vehicle unrestricted by your trailer, no matter what its size or shape.
“Our prototype system offers a very high quality video image with no distortion of other cars or obstructions.
“This means the driver would have exactly the right information to make safe and effective decisions when driving or manoeuvring, making towing safer and less stressful.”
When reversing, the driver would also be able to view the camera feed from the back of the caravan or trailer through the infotainment screen, with guidance lines calibrated to help reverse both car and trailer.
As part of the latest technology, Land Rover is also developing something called Cargo Sense.
The prototype system combines a remote video camera inside the trailer and a mat of pressure sensors on the floor, that both link wirelessly to the towing vehicle.
The pressure sensitive mat would detect if a load of boxes, antique furniture, a classic car were moved, or even whether a horse is moving around the trailer in an unexpected or abnormal way whilst travelling or stationery and alert the driver accordingly.
The Cargo Sense app would also 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, 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.