For those who’ve ever wished they could race against the videogame ghost car in real life, Jaguar Land Rover has showcased new tech that could make it a reality: the Virtual Windscreen.
It pushes the concept of head-up displays several generations on, adding 3D capability and virtual reality for good measure: cutting edge technology that’s currently under development in Jaguar Land Rover’s labs.
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Land Rover has already demonstrated one use for the technology with the Transparent Bonnet of the Land Rover Discovery Sport Concept. Jaguar’s concept moves it on again, using the entire windscreen to display 3D information projected onto it from units in the dashboard.
It’s a suitably track-themed demonstration for premium sporting brand Jaguar: on circuits, the racing line will be projected onto the screen for the driver to follow. It will change colour to show braking points, or periods when the throttle should be held neutral. Even more remarkable is the ghost car – the driver can ‘race’ the other car, which can either show their previous fastest lap or a hot lap from another driver loaded into the car.
It’s a genuine depiction of a rival too, just like in video games. The Jaguar Virtual Windscreen shows their racing line and the exact instances they’re either faster or slower. Images will be presented in HD 3D and the demonstration shown during a technical presentation at the JLR Gaydon tech workshop looked stunning.
The technology can even use ‘virtual cones’ to lay out courses on empty airfields.
Despite being full 3D, there’s no need to wear special 3D glasses and engineers reckon there will be no legislative barriers either. Developed in conjunction with academics from Cambridge and MIT universities, the big hurdle to production reality is projector technology: a full-length 3D projector set into the dash is required, and suppliers can’t yet offer this. “Look how big today’s basic HUD display boxes are,” said one engineer.
For now, then, it’s a lab project rather than a production-intent reality. But what a tantalising prospect the track day ‘ghost car racer’ Jaguar Virtual Windscreen is…