Friday 11 April 2014

Road - See-through bonnet

Invisible bonnet, or if you are an American reading this, then perhaps I should use the term ‘invisible hood’. And no, it’s not a late April Fool.

Land Rover have been tinkering again. This time they have come up with an idea which makes the front end of a vehicle invisible to the driver. Using cameras located in the vehicle’s grille they can present a view of the terrain immediately underneath the car on to a Head-Up Display inside the car. The end result is that the driver can see the ground underneath the front of the vehicle ‘through the bonnet’.

The technology allows drivers to see not only the nature of the terrain they are driving over, but the angle of the front wheels at any given moment – crucial when tackling deeps ruts or avoiding sharp rocks.

But I can’t help thinking that half the fun of driving an off-road vehicle in difficult off-road conditions is that drivers have to use skill, judgement and feel when negotiating difficult obstacles. The system even works under water, thereby negating the need for drivers to walk (wade?) the course beforehand to see how deep and how difficult such a crossing might be.

Which was all part of the fun of driving such a vehicle I thought? Now you won’t ever need to step out the car and get mucky. Mind you it will have one saving grace. When the hoi-poloi go shopping they will be able to mount kerbs without damaging the alloys!

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