Recent patent applications from Honda show technology that will bring us one step closer to augmented-reality driving. The patents involve technology that can show people and vehicles that would otherwise be obscured.
The first patent is for pedestrian detection. Rather than just intervening when someone steps in front of the car (automatically braking), the system would be able to detect and display the locations of multiple pedestrians, including those obscured from the driver’s vision, on an augmented reality display.
The second patent adds vehicle-to-vehicle communications for keeping track of cars in traffic. Given a line of three cars, the lead car would communicate with the middle car to calculate the distance between them. Then, the middle car would relay that information to the last car, which would display an icon representing the lead vehicle with its position and status on the augmented reality display. This would allow the driver to effectively see through the middle car to know where the lead car is and what it’s doing. The system would also be able to keep track of when the lead car starts braking, giving the driver advance notice and more time to react to a sudden slowdown or stop.
How soon we’ll see something like these systems reach the market is unclear, but with how quickly sensors and semi-autonomous technology have been progressing lately, it may be sooner rather than later. As usual, we see x-rays at the forefront of exciting new technology!