Land Rover Has a Cloaking Device for Your Horse Trailer
Towing a horse trailer behind your SUV makes it difficult to see what’s behind you. That’s usually OK, since you’re generally driving forward, but it can make things tricky when changing lanes to get around some slowpoke.
That’s why Land Rover is developing a special rear view mirror that makes that pesky trailer invisible. Well, sort of.
By installing several rear-facing cameras on the Land Rover and the trailer, then running the resulting images through a computer, the trailer appears transparent to the driver. In reality, you’re looking at a composed image that displays what’s behind the trailer onto the image of the trailer. Think of it as a cloaking device for that giant box you’re hauling around.
It’s similar to another Land Rover concept technology that allows the driver to “see” through the hood of a Land Rover Discovery to help it navigate tricky terrain.
The idea is to give drivers better situational awareness of the road around them, and to eliminate the massive blind spots that come from towing a trailer full or horses, or jewels, or whatever. To help back up, the driver will be able to view the direct feed from the rear of the trailer, with guiding lines to see where they’re going.
It’s not quite as slick as Ford’s new Pro Trailer Backup Assist that makes backing a trailer as easy as turning a knob, but we love that Land Rover is developing these slick new technologies. In addition to the invisible hood, the brand also built a remote control prototype that allows you to drive your SUV from outside the car at up to 4 mph—useful for navigating tricky off-road stretches (or for parking your luxotruck in a compact spot at the mall).
Land Rover is about to have a ton of competition in the ultra-luxury SUV segment from the likes of Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, and sister-company Jaguar, so it’s possible all these fancy gizmos are one way of staying on top.
Along with the ability to see through the trailer, Land Rover’s whipped up a prototype technology to let horse owners keep an eye on their precious cargo from a smartphone app or from inside the vehicle, with notifications sent to both the car and app if temperatures exceed safe levels, the trailer is tampered with, or if the horse is distressed. As the husband of a horse owner, I know firsthand how useful it would be to know what’s going on with the horse when she’s being trailered. Perhaps we’re the target market for Range Rovers? Could do worse.
No word on when or if these products might ever actually make it to market, nor what they might cost if they do.
At least we know that Land Rover is watching out for us, and our thousand (or million) dollar “pets.”