Life Travel Land Rover invents invisible caravan

Land Rover invents invisible caravan

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Fiddly, strap-on towing mirrors could be a thing of the past with new ‘see-through’ technology being developed by Land Rover that makes a trailer or caravan ‘disappear’ in the rear-view mirror.

Land Rover researchers have developed an innovative camera system that makes a caravan or horse float appear see-through when being towed.

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The British off-road brand will demonstrate its pioneering transparent trailer research in a Range Rover prototype at the Burghley Horse Trials in the UK from September 3-6.

The technology removes the blind spot created when towing, making overtaking safer and aiding parking manoeuvres by improving the visibility of other vehicles and objects.

The system combines the video feed from the vehicle’s existing surround camera system (comprising a reversing camera and cameras on each wing mirror) with video from a digital wireless camera that is placed on the rear of the trailer or caravan.

The video feeds are then combined to create live video images that make the trailer behind appear see-through. When the trailer is coupled to the towing car, the live video feed automatically appears in the rear-view mirror inside the vehicle.

“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,” Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology, Wolfgang Epple, said.

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“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.”

How do they do it?
Drivers will be able to see cars coming into their blind spot.

Dr Eppl said the new technology would make “towing safer and less stressful”.

“Our prototype system offers a very high quality video image with no distortion of other cars or obstructions,” he said.

More applicable to horse floats than caravans, Land Rover has also developed an in-car trailer monitoring system that allows drivers to view their cargo and assess the situation inside the trailer from the safety of the driver’s seat.

The Cargo Sense system employs an in-trailer camera and pressure-sensitive mat that detects the movement of loads and sends a ‘Check Cargo’ warning to the driver if there is an issue.

Land Rover said live footage inside the trailer would be displayed via the vehicle’s infotainment screen to the passenger if the vehicle was in motion.

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