Toyota Patents Cloaking Device to Help You See Through Car Pillars
If the word “cloaking device” makes you think of Harry Potter’s invisibility cloak or the Romulans in Star Trek, your associations may soon be overridden by none other than Toyota, which has filed a patent application for a cloaking device…that would be used to make it easier for you to see out of your car. Leave it to Toyota to develop cool tech and use it in only the most mundane ways possible.
Jokes aside, this could be a great development for the future of automobiles. Toyota wants to use “apparatuses and methods for making an object appear transparent” to help eliminate blind spots behind the wheel—specifically by removing the pillars from your sight.
“Studies on cloaking devices that appear to make a pillar of a vehicle transparent have been published,” the patent application reads. “Such studies disclose the use of metamaterials or the use of video cameras in combination with a display screen to allow an occupant of a vehicle to ostensibly ‘see’ through the vehicle pillar, thereby reducing blind spots in the vehicle. However, metamaterials and video technology use complicated material designs and equipment.”
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In other words, Toyota says cloaking technology is already possible but would require video cameras and other expensive equipment. Instead of using these, the company’s solution would involve using mirrors to bend visible light around the A-pillars.
This is especially important because the A-pillars in cars have continued to grow in size over time to accommodate the increasingly strict requirements of modern crash tests. As a result, many new cars today have significant blind spots that did not exist in older models. Toyota’s cloaking technology would give drivers the best of both worlds: superior crash safety and improved visibility.
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Source: Free Patents Online