Imagine if you could have a full video-game-style heads-up display in your car. Every detail from speed, track layout, and other pertinent information could be displayed in real time without you needing to take your eyes off the road. Imagine if you could even have your Forza Motorsports-style optimal racing line, complete with braking zone indication presented to you on your windshield in a form of augmented reality. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Well it appears that Jaguar is working on bringing this exact technology to life.
More than the already amazing feats we discussed, Jaguar wants to push it so far as to offer a "ghost car" display so that when on a track you can focus on racing yourself or maybe even a friend’s previous best time. It is the ultimate combination of video games and real life.
If that wasn’t futuristic enough, Jaguar is working on a tracking technology that will control the system through gestures and eye movements so you never need to mess with button and switches. If properly implemented this form of input could be quicker, more accurate and less distracting than traditional tactile switches.
You can learn even more about what Jaguar has planned for this new system and see a video of it in action after the break.
Hit the Jump to find out more about Jaguar’s new Virtual Windscreen.
What Else Does Jaguar Plan?
Jaguar also wants to use advanced technologies like this to replace the rearview mirrors with cameras and secondary displays.
Apart from things like the racing lines and driver ghosts, Jaguar presents scenarios where on-track accidents, cautions and flag conditions could all be displayed.
Outside of racing applications, this new technology could be used to help provide hazard information, traffic alertst and many other items of important information to drivers on major roadways.
Jaguar also wants to use advanced technologies like this to replace the rearview mirrors with cameras and secondary displays. The major issue with a screen is that without proper depth, the human eye can’t accurately judge distance. Jaguar is looking to get around this limitation by using a parallax barrier screen for glasses-free 3D. By giving the driver a more realistic 3D view of the rearview cameras, they can more accurately judge how far away the oncoming car is.
Why it Matters
Reduced man power means reduced costs, and reduced costs mean that more manufacturers and teams may be able to afford to compete.
This is the first major action by any automotive manufacturer to dramatically alter the level and type of information being presented to a driver. Considering that every basic system presented here by Jaguar has proven to be incredibly successful in video racing games and professional racing simulators for decades, I am amazed it has taken this long to begin implementing these features.
Not only would this be great for helping to teach new racers and weekend enthusiasts about racing lines and braking zones, but having a system like this in a professional racing car could help reduce the amount of manpower needed to run telemetry systems. Reduced manpower means reduced costs, and reduced costs mean that more manufacturers and teams may be able to afford to compete.
This type of futuristic thinking and advancement may be just what the world needs to push racing and enthusiast driving to the next level.
Jaguar Land Rover is creating cutting-edge technologies to develop new ways to give drivers higher quality, life-like graphics and information that will offer an enhanced ’virtual’ view of the road or race track.
The ’Jaguar Virtual Windscreen’ concept uses the entire windscreen as a display so the driver’s eyes need never leave the road. High quality hazard, speed and navigation icons could all be projected onto the screen together. For performance drivers, imagery that could aid track driving includes:
Racing line and braking guidance. Virtual racing lines on the windscreen appear to be marked on the track ahead for optimum racing line, with changes in colour to indicate braking guidance.
Ghost car racing. Improve your lap times by racing a ’ghost car’ visualisation of your car on a previous lap, or compete against a lap uploaded from another driver.
Virtual cones can be laid out on the track ahead for driver training. These could be moved as the driver’s ability improves.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Director of Research and Technology for Jaguar Land Rover, said: "We are working on research projects that will give the driver better information to enhance the driving experience. By presenting the highest quality imagery possible, a driver need only look at a display once. Showing virtual images that allow the driver to accurately judge speed and distance will enable better decision-making and offer real benefits for every-day driving on the road, or the track."
Jaguar Land Rover is developing a gesture control system to keep the driver’s eyes on the road and reduce distraction by limiting the need to look at or feel for buttons and switches to press.
Jaguar Land Rover’s gesture control research uses E-Field Sensing, which is based on the latest capacitive discharge touch screensand gives much greater accuracy than ever before. A smartphone today detects the proximity of a user’s finger from 5mm. The Jaguar Land Rover system increases the range of the sensing field to around 15cm which means the system can be used to accurately track a user’s hand and any gestures it makes inside the car.
"Gesture control has already become an accepted form of controlling anything from TV sets to games consoles. The next logical step is to control selected in-car features. We have identified which functions still need to be controlled by physical buttons and which could be controlled by gesture and carefully calibrated motion sensors," said Dr Epple. "The system is currently being tested on a number of features including sunblinds, rear wipers and satellite navigation maps. It has the potential to be on sale within the next few years."
Jaguar Land Rover’s research team is also looking at technology that could replace rear view and external mirrors with cameras and virtual displays. Using two-dimensional imaging to replace mirrors is limited by the fact that single plane images on a screen do not allow the driver to accurately judge the distance or speed of other road users.
Jaguar Land Rover has therefore developed an innovative 3D instrument cluster, which uses the latest head- and eye-tracking technology to create a natural-looking, specs-free 3D image on the instrument panel. Cameras positioned in the instrument binnacle or steering column area track the position of the user’s head and eyes. Software then adjusts the image projection in order to create a 3D effect by feeding each eye two slightly differing angles of a particular image. This creates the perception of depth which allows the driver to judge distance.