Future Tense

Land Rover Unveils Transparent Hood, Wins Over Sci-Fi Fans Everywhere

The New York International Auto Show is still more than a week away, but new technology from Land Rover is already in pole position to be among the coolest of this year’s concept car reveals. The tech breakthrough—dubbed the “Transparent Bonnet”—is essentially a cloaking device for the front of the car, with a superimposed heads-up display making the hood appear see-through. So, yeah, pretty cool stuff.

While we’re on the record as being skeptical about the viability of invisibility cloaks and other sci-fi staples of that ilk, this is a different thing entirely: Land Rover is merely mimicking the appearance of transparency. Using cameras mounted in the grill, the view from underneath the hood is simply relayed back to the heads-up display and projected onto the windshield, thereby giving drivers an unparalled look at the road between their wheels. According to Land Rover, practical application of the Bonnet will allow drivers climbing steep inclines or moving in close quarters “to see an augmented reality view capturing not only the terrain in front of the car but also the angle and position of the front wheels.”

You can watch a demonstration of the technology in the video above, but don’t salivate over it too much—it’s unclear when or even if Land Rover plans to usher the Bonnet out of the concept stage and onto the road.