North Wales company teams up with Land Rover to create see-through trailer concept
A North Wales-based company is working with Land Rover on a see-through trailer concept that would remove the blind spot created when towing a caravan or trailer.
Williams Trailers, which is Europe’s biggest trailer retailer, has been providing trailers to the car maker for testing purposes.
According to Land Rover, the transparent view provides drivers with the ability to see vehicles coming up behind them. This helps boost driver confidence by improving visibility while manoeuvring.
The innovation combines the video feed from a vehicle’s surround camera system with video from a wireless camera placed on the rear of the caravan or trailer.
Together, the video feeds create live video images that make the caravan or trailer behind appear see-through. When the trailer is attached to the car, the live video feed automatically appears in the vehicle’s rear-view mirror.
Andrew Reece-Jones, design engineering manager at 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.”
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.
Williams Trailer has also welcomed a piece of innovation developed by Land Rover which it says is perfect for its horse boxes.
Cargo Sense, which is in the prototype stages, is an in-car trailer monitoring system. It consists of a video camera inside the trailer and a mat of pressure sensors on the floor, both of which link wirelessly to the towing vehicle.
Andrew 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.”