New York show: Land Rover creates "see-through" bonnet for anxious drivers

Engineers have devised a system that allows drivers to see through a car’s bonnet courtesy of cameras located in its grille.

WHO HASN’T prayed for a better view around their impossibly large 4×4 as they try, and fail, to park it in a cramped space, or negotiate wild terrain? For such people, boffins at Land Rover may just have the answer.

The engineers have devised a system that allows the driver to appear to see through their car’s bonnet through a combination of virtual imaging technology and cameras located in the car’s grille. The images are relayed to a head-up display giving the driver a view not only of the terrain immediately under and in front of the vehicle, but also of the angle and position of the car’s front wheels.

Called, ambitiously, Transparent Bonnet, Land Rover says the technology could be used by drivers trying to park their 4×4 in cramped places, or those navigating steep inclines off-road where the view ahead can be obscured by the car’s bonnet.

“Transparent Bonnet gives drivers an augmented view of reality to help them tackle anything from the toughest off-road route, to the tight confines of an urban car park,” said Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology for Jaguar Land Rover.

The new technology will be unveiled at the New York motor show later this month.