Virtual Reality in real-life trucking? Young Germans developed glasses that make the cockpit “transparent”

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Students at Fraunhofer Institute developed a system that eliminates blind spots. All thanks to cameras and glasses using Virtual Reality (VR) technology.

Students of the Faculty of Optronics, Systems Engineering and Image Evaluation (IOSB) of the Fraunhofer Institute are working on the “transparent” cockpit. The system was developed on the basis of a master thesis by Daniel Reichert and Daniel Secker and was tested in cooperation with RIO, a provider of telematics solutions for Volkswagen. The technology uses intelligent glasses and a number of cameras, thanks to which the elements of the vehicle in the displayed image become transparent. This completely eliminates blind spots and the truck driver can manoeuvre safely.

“The aim of this method is to reduce the number of accidents which occur frequently when manoeuvring trucks and cars. Drivers are sometimes unable to see obstacles or rely too much on existing systems,” says Daniel Secker.

The problem of “blind spots” mainly concerns trucks due to their size. Sometimes even objects in front of the vehicle may not be visible to the driver. The system developed by young Germans is to be a solution that will help to eliminate completely the so-called blind spots.

Intelligent glasses not only show the surroundings of the truck but also information about the proximity of obstacles. A special algorithm uses images from cameras and then colours the obstacles in orange. If the vehicle approaches them dangerously, their colour changes to red. The students are still working on technology because, as they admit, VR glasses are too massive.

See how the system works:

Photos: Fraunhofer IOSB