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Hi-Tech Invisibility possible

Published:Sunday | August 17, 2014 | 8:00 AM
Transparent Bonnet technology at work on a Land Rover Discovery.-Contributed

Like a variant of the adaptive camouflage featured on the Aston Martin Vanquish in the James Bond movie Die Another Day, which renders the entire vehicle invisible, Land Rover is considering pioneering technology that makes the bonnet of its vehicles invisible.

The technology debuted at the 2014 New York International Auto Show on April 16. It works via cameras mounted on the grille to capture data, which is then fed to a display which comes up out of the instrument console. This essentially creates a see-through view to the terrain under the bonnet and engine bay.

Ideal for a rugged terrain, it will enable a driver navigating a steep incline or manoeuvring in a confined space to have an augmented reality view of the terrain directly ahead, as well as the position of the front wheels.

Dubbed 'Transparent Bonnet' by its creators, it is intended to show how advanced technology will further increase Land Rover's capability. However, it is unclear when this technology will be available commercially.

Land Rover is not the only car manufacturer working on invisibility of its vehicles. German automaker Mercedes-Benz has found a way to make its vehicles invisible.

The idea that to see through something one needs to see what is behind it, scientists covered the driver's side with mats of LEDs and mounted a digital SLR camera on the opposite side of the vehicle.

The camera then shoots video on the passenger side of car. The video is then displayed in real time on the driver's side of the car, effectively rendering it invisible or camouflaged.

- Chad Bryan