Killer A-pil­lars de­feated

Cam­eras that let you ‘see through’ solid steel…

CAR (UK) - - TECH -

What’s wrong with A-pil­lars all of a sud­den?

They’ve been get­ting thicker and longer for years with the rise of the MPV and SUV, and are proven to re­duce oc­cu­pant in­jury in the event of a rollover crash. The down­side is that you can’t see out very well, mak­ing it hard to see two-wheel­ers. Tricky… You can’t cut holes in the A-pil­lars, can you? Con­ti­nen­tal’s boffins have come up with an an­swer, called Vir­tual A Pil­lar, that in­volves ex­te­rior cam­eras, an in­te­rior cam­era check­ing where you’re look­ing, and a screen placed on each A-pil­lar to dis­play what you would see if you were able to look through the A-pil­lar. Like x-ray specs?

A bit, but this isn’t about see­ing peo­ple in their un­der­wear – it’s about sav­ing lives.

So no more ac­ci­dents in­volv­ing cars pulling out into the paths of bikes? This tech­nol­ogy isn’t yet avail­able on pro­duc­tion cars. And it still re­quires the driver to pay at­ten­tion – not just look­ing, but see­ing. And this is diˆffer­ent from Cross TraffŠic As­sist?

That in­volves the car’s sen­sors spot­ting other road users you may have missed, then slam­ming the an­chors on for you if nec­es­sary. The com­bi­na­tion of the two should work well to­gether.

Can’t see over it, can’t see un­der it, can see through it

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