Jaguar Unveils Concept ‘Ghost Car’ To Help Simplify Navigation

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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Jaguar Land Rover is researching technologies to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle, as well as ‘ghost car’ navigation

Jaguar Land Rover has launched research into technologies that would provide 360-degree views around a vehicle, as well as a navigation system that would project a “ghost car” on the windscreen for the driver to follow.

The research is part of the “360 Virtual Urban Windscreen” project, which would turn the windscreen into an Internet-connected heads-up display presenting information ranging from petrol station prices to the number of parking spaces available nearby.

jaguar-virtual-wind-screen-get-info-of-the-other-car‘Ghost Car’

For intuitive navigation, the windscreen would use “Follow-Me Ghost Car” technology, projecting an image of an illuminated car for the driver to follow to their destination.

“Imagine being able to drive across town without having to look at road signs, or be distracted trying to locate a parking space as you drive by,” stated Dr Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover’s director of research and technology. “We want to present all of this information on a Heads-Up Display in the driver’s eye-line, so the driver doesn’t have to seek it out for themselves and take their eyes off the road ahead.”

360-degree view

While the research is still at an early phase, the company said the 360-degree view would use a live feed from cameras covering the angles outside the car usually obscured by the pillars supporting its roof.

A screen embedded in the surface of each pillar would display the video, making the pillar appear transparent. The screens would be activated only during particular operations, such as when the driver indicates to turn, looks over his or her shoulder during an overtake manoeuvre or approaches a junction.

The object of the virtual windscreen is to reduce road accidents, according to the company, and would also highlight elements around the car, such as approaching vehicles or pedestrians crossing the road.

‘Non-distracting’ display

“If we can keep the driver’s eyes on the road ahead and present information in a non-distracting way, we can help drivers make better decisions in the most demanding and congested driving environments,” said Dr Epple.

Jaguar Land Rover produced a video demonstrating the concept technology, but didn’t give an estimate for when it might arrive in production vehicles.

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