British SUV maker Land Rover has developed new technology to eliminate the blind spot when towing a large item such as a horse box, trailer or caravan.
The new tech, which is being demonstrated at this weekend’s Burghley Horse Trials, will allow the driver to clearly see vehicles coming up behind them, make manoeuvrability easier and improve safety when overtaking.
The prototype combines the video feeds from the existing reversing camera on the vehicle and the cameras on the wing mirrors with an additional wireless digital camera on the rear of the trailer, purposely placed to implement the technology. This combined video feed is then automatically sent to the rear view mirror in the vehicle making the trailer appear see-through.
Dr Wolfgang Epple, Jaguar Land Rover’s Director of Research and Technology, said the transparent trailer prototype offered a high quality video image with no distortion of other cars or obstructions. “This means the driver would have exactly the right information to make safe and effective decisions when driving or manoeuvring, making towing safer and less stressful.”
Also being demonstrated at Burghley is Cargo Sense, a technology which alerts the driver, either while on the move or remotely through a bespoke phone app, on the status of their horse – or other cargo – in the back. It combines an in-trailer video feed and pressure sensors on the floor to produce alerts if the cargo becomes unstable or the trailer is tampered with.
While on the move the system will send a ‘check cargo’ warning to the dashboard to alert the driver of any potential problems with the cargo, or horse, before they become serious. When away from their vehicle, users can also check the status of the trailer remotely via the Cargo Sense app. Features include alerts if a horse becomes distressed, if there are any noticeable temperature changes or if the trailer is tampered with.
“Many of our customers carry valuable cargoes for business and pleasure, so we are researching a range of technologies that would enhance the towing experience and make it safer,” Dr Epple said.