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Imagine arriving at a DVLA testing site with your car, a trailer, and the utmost confidence that you will easily pass your trailer test thanks to the see-through trailer you are towing behind you. That may be the future if Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover, a Tata subsidiary, have anything to say about it. The two are currently working on an innovative new system designed to improve visibility for drivers towing trailers of all kinds.

The trailers themselves will not actually be transparent. Rather, they will be virtually see-through by way of a series of video feeds and software processing. The system makes use of Jaguar Land Rover’s existing embedded camera system, consisting of two wing cameras and a rear camera, and a wireless camera mounted on the back of the trailer. Video feeds from all four are combined and processed by software that produces a view entirely around the tow vehicle and its trailer. Jaguar Land Rover insists the system has eliminated all blind spots.

Perhaps the most exciting aspect of the system is that the view presented to the driver appears in the rear view mirror. This presentation allows the driver to see behind him/her as if the trailer wasn’t even there. According to designers, this is the most natural presentation and one that should be easiest for drivers to adapt to. Drivers are already used to using the rear view mirror when not towing, so it makes sense to use the mirror for the video display.

When reversing, the system presents a new video feed via the car’s entertainment console. This feed includes overlay markers that act as a guide to help the driver get the trailer into place.

Technology Making Us Safer

We commend Jaguar Land Rover and other innovators who are pushing technology to new boundaries in order to make driving safer. Every time a new piece of technology demonstrates the ability to mitigate a known safety issue, we are all better off. The virtual see-through trailer system is one such innovation that will be immensely helpful to drivers who only tow their trailers on an occasional basis. It will most definitely make them safer.

In light of what Jaguar Land Rover is doing, we want to remind drivers that there is no technology that can make us 100% safe. Even a see-through trailer system requires a safe and competent driver to operate the tow vehicle. From our perspective, the best way to make safe and competent drivers is through appropriate training. That is our job at the HGV Training Centre.

We can train you in the proper procedures for trailer towing, whether you need a B+E licence or not. If you do need a special licence, our training will prepare you to take your trailer test and pass it the first time. We equip you with the necessary skills and knowledge to meet your legal obligations as a safe and competent driver. We hope you will consider training with us.

Sources:

  1. Fortune – http://fortune.com/2015/09/01/jaguar-land-rover-blind-spot/

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