Virtual Windshield Sees Through the Car in Front of You

By: | November 3rd, 2013

Invisible vehicles sound cool but so far we have only seen these vehicles in James Bond movies. Now a team of researchers from University of Porto in Portugal have developed an augmented reality system that lets drivers see right through the vehicle in front of them. The technology is known as the See Through System (STS).

This safety system equips the cars with a ‘virtual windshield’ that helps in judging whether passing is a good idea by eliminating blind spots caused by large vehicles like buses and trucks. The ‘virtual windshield’ projects images of the road ahead even when the driver’s view is blocked.

STS taps into the live video feed from the webcam that the bigger vehicles have installed on their windshield. The STS within your own car will stream the feed from this camera into a transparent LCD screen built into your windshield. This will help you to see through the vehicle in front to judge distances and see if any vehicles are coming from the opposite direction.

It’s a great concept with lot of promise but currently the system has a latency of about 200 milliseconds. Even this minute delay in transmission could prove dangerous. It’s enough to make an oncoming vehicle appear 10 meters farther away than it really is.

Similar communications mediums like ‘Car 2 Car communications systems’ are being developed by BMW and Mercedes- Benz as well. With more and more carmakers working on these systems, 007 may not have exclusive bragging rights on invisible vehicles much longer.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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