WOULDN’T it be nice if, next time you want to overtake a big, plodding vehicle on a narrow road, you could see right through it to the stretch ahead?
A new augmented reality system aims to make that possible, allowing you to time your overtaking safely.
Michel Ferreira and his colleagues at the University of Porto in Portugal developed the See-Through System, which uses a lightweight heads-up display to look “through” a truck up ahead. The system works by looking through a camera that records the trailing driver’s perspective. Software recognises the back of the lead vehicle, and replaces it with a video feed from a webcam mounted on that lead vehicle.
The image has a delay of 200 milliseconds, however, so it shows an oncoming car to be 10 metres further away than it actually is, if both it and the driver’s car are moving at 90 kilometres per hour.
Hannes Kaufmann of the Vienna University of Technology in Austria worries it could be dangerous. “I think it’s a good idea to support drivers to judge situations better, but it’s a two-edged sword. What if the image transmission stutters?”
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