Transparent car Land Rover

Land Rover has unveiled the world's first Transparent Bonnet Concept, allowing drivers to see through the chassis of the vehicle to the ground below.

The technology dramatically improves driver's visibilty by filming the terrain beneath the car with cameras attached to the front grille and projecting the footage onto a heads-up display on the windshield.

"As our vehicles become more capable and autonomous off-road, we will ensure the driver has the confidence to allow the car to continue to progress, over any terrain," said Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at Land Rover.

transparent bonnet
Cameras under the grille project video feed of the ground onto the vehicle's bonnet. Land Rover

"We are developing new technologies including the Transparent Bonnet to give 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."

Augmenting the auto industry

Land Rover's concept is not the first time augmented reality has been considered as a method to improve the safety of drivers.

Last year, researchers from the University of Porto in Portugal developed an augmented reality application to be used to determine when it is safe to pass large vehicles on the road in front.

A front-facing camera on the car or lorry's windshield interact with a "see-through system" that relays the footage to the vehicle behind.

Michael Ferreira, a professor of computer science who led the research, believes that such augmented reality features will be as common on cars in the future as rear-view mirrors are today.

Land Rover's Transparent Bonnet Concept will be on show at the New York International Auto Show on 18 April.