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Prototype trailer videofeed creates 'invisible' horsebox.

Byline: Chris Kelsey chris.kelsey@walesonline.co.uk

DRIVERS with trailers and horseboxes could find their lives becoming a lot easier, thanks to two new pieces of technology that are being developed by Land Rover.

The firm is working on a 'seethrough' trailer concept that would completely remove the blind spot created when towing a caravan or trailer.

It has also recently unveiled a device that will allow people to see, remotely, inside their horseboxes from inside their car or via an app on their smartphone.

The prototype Transparent Trailer system fitted to a Range Rover combines the video feed from the vehicle's existing surround camera system - which includes the reversing camera and a camera on each wing mirror - with a video from a digital wireless camera that is placed on the rear of the trailer or caravan.

The video feeds are then combined to create the live video images that make the trailer behind appear 'seethrough'.

When the trailer is coupled to the towing car, the live video feed would automatically appear in the rear view mirror inside the vehicle.

According to Land Rover, the transparent view would allow the driver to clearly see vehicles coming up behind and help driver confi-dence by improving visibility while manoeuvring.

Dr Wolfgang Epple, director of research and technology at Jaguar Land Rover, said: "When you are overtaking it is instinctive to check your mirrors, but if you are towing your vision is often restricted with large blind spots.

"Our Transparent Trailer project is researching how we could offer a view out of the vehicle unrestricted by your trailer, no matter what its size or shape.

"Our prototype system offers a very high quality video image, with no distortion, of other cars or obstructions. This means the driver would have exactly the right information to make safe and effective decisions when driving or manoeuvring, making towing safer and less stressful. 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.

Europe's biggest trailer maker, Denbighshire-based Ifor Williams Trailers, has provided trailers that have been used for testing purposes.

Andrew Reece-Jones, the design engineering manager at Ifor Williams Trailers, said: "We are delighted to be able to do our bit to help Land Rover with this exciting project.

"This is cutting-edge technology that could produce massive benefits for people towing our trailers.

"The Transparent Trailer system has massive potential and would revolutionise towing, making it easier and safer."

Ifor Williams Trailers has welcomed another innovative idea from Land Rover which they say is perfect for their horseboxes.

It's an in-car trailer monitoring system called Cargo Sense that combines a remote video camera inside the trailer and a mat of pressure sensors on the floor, with both linking wirelessly to the towing vehicle.

Land Rover is also developing a Cargo Sense app that allows drivers to monitor the status of the trailer and cargo remotely via their smartphone.

Mr Reece-Jones added: "We have been mightily impressed with what we have seen of this.

"We pride ourselves on the fantastic safety record of our trailers and this technology can make them even safer to tow."

CAPTION(S):

Transparent trailer system with video and app developed by Land Rover and Ifor Williams trailers

The Cargo Sense system lets a driver see inside a towed horsebox
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Nov 24, 2015
Words:574
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