Continental Transparent Hood: Car safety feature that allows driver to see through bonnet

Continental Transparent Hood makes the bonnet 'transparent' for a clear view from under the car but how does it work & how does it help. We find out with Dayanand Acharya, Head of ADAS Engineering Systems, Continental India.

By:Updated: Apr 06, 2020 2:59 PM

continental transparent hood offroad

Continental transparent hood technology has received good words for its practicality and ability to enhance safety. As the name suggests, the tech makes the hood (bonnet) ‘transparent’ to allow a clear view of the terrain under the front of the car so the driver is better aware of the dimensions of the vehicle. But to know more about the technology, how it works, and how can it enhance safety in a car, we got in touch with Dayanand Acharya, Head of ADAS Engineering Systems, Continental Automotive India.

What is Transparent Hood Technology? How does it work?

Transparent Hood is a technology developed by Continental’s ADAS team, intending to overcome the blind-spot beneath the car while moving and provide under-car visuals to the driver like the road condition, small objects on the path, curb, footpath, terrain, and wheels position. Thus, helping driver’s decisions on maneuverability, be it parking in narrow spaces or off-road terrain.

The technology of Transparent Hood is based on Continental’s surround-view system, which consists of four satellite cameras and an electronic control unit. An intelligent image processing algorithm developed by ADAS Visualization Function Department reconstructs the image below the vehicle and inserts this image exactly into the surround-view displayed to the driver. This term encompasses all camera assistance systems that go beyond mere display to provide a warning or intervention function, such as accelerating, steering, and braking.

How does it benefit the driving experience?

With Continental’s surround-view system, provides the ground data giving the driver a better perspective of what lies ahead, the Transparent Hood uses this data from the front camera and couple it with the data from the car like steering angle, car’s speed, and reconstructs the Road surface and surroundings under the car texture.

The resulting image is rendered onto the driver’s screen. It helps the driver navigate through abnormal and narrow roads, rough terrain or avoid high curbs, potholes and or any other sort of hindrance that may not be visible in a usual scenario, thus, curbing any chance of road mishaps. It is an extension of what experts call ‘human vision’ systems to support the driver.

Are there any prototypes to test the technology?

The technology was developed based on one of our customer’s requirements, who came up with the original idea. We won the series business with the customer and went into development in 2017. The technology was first launched at the London Motor Show in 2018 for the same customer. There are many cars already on-road in Europe and America with this feature since the launch.

Also read: Next step in two-wheeler safety in India & new car safety tech Continental will roll out in 2020

Could it pose a possibility of distracting the driver?

Transparent Hood is displayed on the screen based on the driver’s request depending on the driving environment and not always. This will be additional information to increases safety by making the area under the hood visible and showing the real terrain scenario to the driver.

Thus, it is an added advantage for the driver to maneuver the car easily and drive safely, contributing to the overall safety of the driver, occupants, and the car itself. This feature can be moved-off the screen when it is not required.

Continental is committed towards the Vision Zero – zero fatalities, zero injuries, zero accidents. All our technologies are designed and developed to give the drivers the important and critical information required for safe driving without disrupting the attention.

Is there a low-cost version being worked upon and will we get the tech in cars in India soon?

We are now working on concepts to bring such systems to India and our customers in India are keen to see the first demonstration on road. We can expect such systems on Indian roads in the next two to three years.

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