CES 2020: Seeing pavement gets new meaning with Transparent Hood

Transparent Hood

A new application of Continental Automotive’s Surround View Camera system on display at CES 2020 in Las Vegas could let truckers see what’s beyond the hill ahead with a view of the pavement under the hood. 

The Transparent Hood technology from the German supplier is being shown for passenger cars,  but an application for commercial vehicles is not far behind, said Dirk Abendroth, Continental’s automotive chief technology officer. 

“The best (use) is getting a certain view before you get over the top of a hill,” he said.

Removing vision-obstructing objects for improved safety is getting significant attention from truck makers. German supplier Robert Bosch and Stoneridge Inc. make camera systems that affix to the A-pillars of a truck cab to replace bulky outside mirrors. Daimler Trucks Freightliner Cascadia offers camera views of objects along the side of the truck.

Continental’s Transparent Hood technology is the first to display the area beneath the vehicle,  exposing obstructed terrain to the driver. It is based on Continental’s four-camera Surround View system that uses a control unit to deliver images to the vehicle’s display.

An intelligent image-processing algorithm lets drivers see the ground view immediately in front of them. Benefits include avoiding vehicle damage while parking. Forward parking is less of an issue for truckers than backing into a loading dock.

Work remains on time synchronization of the camera views so the picture shown matches the time it was taken, Abendroth said.

The Transparent Hood received a CES 2020 Innovation Award in the Vehicle Intelligence and Transportation product category. Products are judged by a panel of independent industrial designers, engineers and members of the trade media across 28 categories.