Land Rover is developing a see-through trailer concept that would completely remove the blind spot created when towing a caravan or trailer. This transparent view would allow the driver to clearly see vehicles coming up behind and help driver confidence by improving visibility whilst manoeuvring.
The prototype ‘Transparent Trailer’ system fitted to a Range Rover combines the video feed from the vehicle’s existing reversing camera with a video from a digital wireless camera that is placed on the rear of the trailer or caravan. The two video feeds are then combined to create the live video images that make the trailer behind appear see-through. When the trailer is coupled to the towing car, the live video feed would automatically appear in the rear view mirror inside the vehicle.
When reversing, the driver would also be able to view the camera feed from the back of the caravan or trailer through the infotainment screen, with guidance lines calibrated to help reverse both car and trailer.
CARGO SENSE: Cargo Sense is an innovative idea for an in-car trailer monitoring system designed to optimise cargo loading for safer towing. The prototype system combines a remote video camera inside the trailer and a mat of pressure sensors on the floor, that both link wirelessly to the towing vehicle.
As well as helping customers load cargo evenly and uniformly, the pressure sensitive mat would detect if your load of boxes, antique furniture, a classic car or even a valuable horse is moving around the trailer in an unexpected or abnormal way whilst travelling.
The system would send a ‘Check Cargo’ warning to the dashboard to alert the driver to an issue with the cargo, or a horse, before it becomes serious. Live video footage from the camera inside the trailer could then be made available through the infotainment screen in the vehicle. A passenger would be able to view the footage via the dual screen whilst the vehicle is in motion. Alternatively, the driver could view the video while stationary to assess the situation in the trailer from the safety of the driver’s seat.
CARGO SENSE APP: The Cargo Sense app allows the driver to check the status of both trailer and load remotely when the owner is away from the trailer. If a horse owner is away from the horse trailer whilst walking the course at an equestrian event for example, the system could automatically alert the owner via SMS if the horse is distressed, if the temperature inside has exceeded safe levels, or if the trailer is being tampered with.
HORSE WELLBEING: Thousands of horses travel to equestrian events all over the world every year. Finding safer ways to transport them would reduce the potential for road accidents during the journey and injuries to horse and handler when they reach their destination. Serious accidents have been caused by a horse falling over inside the trailer or making the trailer sway excessively, or even forcing themselves out of the trailer doors.
Animal physiologist Dr Emma Punt will work with the Royal Veterinary College on a research project to better understand horse stress and distress during travel and to see how Jaguar Land Rover’s Cargo Sense technology could be used to indicate horse distress.
As well as testing a range of devices that measure the animal’s physical wellbeing inside a trailer, Dr Punt will validate how a pressure sensor mat could identify and locate hoof pressure to highlight if the horse has moved unexpectedly.