Land Rover Develops Safety Tech for Towing
A woman demonstrates Cargo Sense, a smartphone app that lets drivers remotely monitor trailer cargo. Photo courtesy of Land Rover.
Land Rover is developing a see-through trailer system that would remove the blind spots created when towing a trailer, the automaker said.
The transparent view would allow the driver to clearly see vehicles coming up from behind and help improve visibility while maneuvering.
The prototype “Transparent Trailer” system combines a video feed from the vehicle’s existing surround camera system – including the backup camera and a camera on each side mirror – with video from a digital wireless camera placed on the rear of the trailer.
The video feeds combine to create live video images that make the trailer behind appear see-through. When the trailer is hooked up to the towing car, the live video feed automatically appears in the rearview 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,” said Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology for Jaguar Land Rover. “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. Our prototype system offers a very high-quality video image with no distortion of other cars or obstructions."
When driving in reverse, drivers would also be able to view the camera feed from the back of the trailer through the infotainment screen, with guidance lines calibrated to help back up both the car and trailer.
Additionally, drivers could use the Cargo Sense app to monitor the trailer and cargo remotely, using a smartphone. Sensors on the trailer floor can even alert drivers if the load is shifting or being disturbed.
A Range Rover research vehicle has begun demonstrating the new technologies.