Land Rover has unveiled two new trailer monitoring systems, dubbed ‘Transparent Trailer’ and ‘Cargo Sense’, designed to make hauling a load both safer and easier.
Revealed today as a prototype only, the systems promise to render trailers virtually invisible from within the cabin, while allowing vehicle occupants to monitor conditions inside the trailer through a combination of sensors and a camera.
During transit, Transparent Trailer uses a set of video cameras to create the illusion of near invisibility for the trailer, displaying a view in the mirror that reveals an unobstructed view of the rear, making it easier to check for danger before reversing, turning or overtaking.
Most of the cameras required are those already installed on a modern vehicle – including wing mirror-mounted lenses – while an additional camera is mounted to the rear of the trailer.
The system then combines the feed from each of these cameras to create a neatly stitched-together view of the surrounding area.
And, as with most cars fitted with reversing cameras, the system offers dynamic on-screen guides calibrated to accommodate the trailer – eliminating the confusion that can confront motorists not familiar with the chore of reversing with a trailer.
The Transparent Trailer system is joined by Cargo Sense, which uses sensors and a camera to monitor the inside of the trailer, demonstrated in the above video with a horse float.
Using pressure sensors embedded in a floor mat, Cargo Sense can alert the driver to unexpected or abnormal movements inside the trailer – whether of the equine or conventional cargo variety – sending a notice to the in-dash display.
The in-trailer camera can then be activated, revealing the cargo’s status without having to stop the vehicle. The image can also be sent to a user’s phone, via a special Land Rover app.
Land Rover has yet to confirm production plans for Transparent Trailer and Cargo Sense, although we could see either system appear in future updates.
This latest unveiling follows the prototype debut last year of a new Transparent Pillar system from Land Rover stablemate Jaguar, which utilises similar technology to create a see-through effect for the thick A-pillars of modern passenger cars.
As with Land Rover’s new tech, Jaguar has yet to confirm production plans for Transparent Pillar, but it appears clear that similar systems will eventually make their way into showrooms over the years ahead.