Satellite navigation has been one of the most important developments in the car in the last twenty years, but it’s also had an understated effect on marital relationships around the country.
Replacing maps and a spouse responsible for reading it – and the ensuing arguments – it gives you a little break from the stress of not knowing where you are or where you’re going.
But it’s not perfect. Sometimes you’ll be driving down an unfamiliar road with the navigation system on and it’ll alert you to a turning approaching – but where is it? Which of the many lefts is actually your left and how mild is the mild right turn? You’ll spend as much of the manoeuvre looking down at your sat-nav as you do paying attention to the road. Not good.
Coventry-based prestige specialist Jaguar Land Rover has developed an answer. Dubbed “Follow-Me Ghost Car Navigation”, it effectively turns the sat-nav into a spectral projection of someone who knows the way.
Cast onto the inside of the screen, the technology creates the image of a car (probably from JLR’s stable!) ahead of you which uses the correct lanes and heads down the right streets, allowing you to follow it to your destination without ever having to take your eyes off the road. Genius.
Another tick in the safety box comes in the shape of the “360 Virtual Urban Windscreen”. Using the same concept as the invisible bonnet shown earlier in the year, a combination of cameras and screens renders the roof pillars largely invisible, allowing drivers a completely unobstructed view around their car.
Combined with advanced threat-tracking head-up display (HUD) technology, the virtual windscreen could alert the driver to unseen pedestrians, cyclists, pets and vehicles moving around the car, reducing the number of collisions with more vulnerable road users.
Bring it on, Volvo
It certainly seems Jaguar Land Rover is attempting to be crowned king of the safety features, but they’ll have stiff competition from Swedish safety stalwarts Volvo. The new XC90 was even crash tested rolling over!