Land Rover Opens Up a Fresh Can of Hood-Be-Gone for the Discovery Vision Concept [2014 New York Auto Show]

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept Transparent Hood

Land Rover hasn’t shown us what its upcoming Discovery Vision concept looks like yet—we’ll have to wait until the next week’s New York auto show for that—but it has given us a preview of one particularly cool new technology it will debut: the Transparent Hood. No, it’s not a literally transparent hood—Grease Lightning style—but by using cameras at the front of the vehicle and a full-width head-up display, the new driver assistance technology can make like the hood, and all the internals beneath it, are virtually invisible.

Land Rover Discovery Vision Concept Transparent Hood

If that sounds cool, it is. As shown in the video below, the front-end cameras capture data that is then processed and fed to the head-up display, creating what Land Rover characterizes as a “see-through” view of the pathway ahead, as well as a graphical indication of the angle and position of the front wheels. While the cameras don’t show the wheels themselves, the Transparent Hood should make it much easier to optimally place the front tires while traversing rocky terrain, and could be particularly helpful when climbing a steep incline when the hood blocks everything but the sky. It should also help the more, um, situationally unaware among us avoid keep from wreaking havoc on walls, curbs and other cars when wriggling into tight parking spaces at the mall, a far more everyday application of the technology, we expect.

Instrumented Test: 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque
Instrumented Test: 2014 Land Rover Range Rover Sport Supercharged
Comparison Test: 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon vs. 2012 Mercedes-Benz G550

“As our vehicles become more capable and offer increasing autonomy off-road,” said Dr. Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology for Jaguar Land Rover, “we will ensure the driver has the confidence to progress over any terrain. We are developing new technologies including the Transparent Hood to give drivers an augmented view of reality to help them tackle anything from the toughest off-road route to the tight confines of urban parking.”

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