Features built into cars that help people drive more safely have become very popular lately. Everything from rear and front mounted cameras to complete interior airbag systems have been implemented into our cars, but that’s not where innovators want to stop. New technologies are even more exciting. What at first looks like a military project, actually turns out to have a future in cars. This optical camouflage system aims to let people see their entire surroundings from within the car itself.
This optical camouflage system was created by a research group at Keio University. The goal was to create a transparent interior of the car in order for the driver to easier determine objects around it. The interior becomes “invisible” through the use of a a few cameras and mirrors. It would be the perfect feature to allow easier parallel parking or driving on narrow streets.
As the innovators behind this optical camouflage system explain, their aim is to make the entire interior of the car invisible and instead show the driver the outer surroundings. Even though the technology might be in its infancy right now, the research group think they will be able to launch it commercially in about 5 years. That means in 5 years we could all enjoy a less cramped environment when we are driving.
The optical camouflage idea is by no means a new technology. However, implementing it into a car’s interior has actually never been done before, at least not to my own humble knowledge. The whole optical camouflage illusion is only achievable thanks to a new kind of glass material called recursive reflector. Its optical characteristics enable the light to be reflected back in the direction of the angled mirror.
It’s a most futuristic project that within 5 years could become an important feature in every car. Imagine being able to see everything as you back up into a parking spot. The rear and front camera displays could be used for something else entirely, which could open up for even more ingenuity within the car itself.