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Toyota has patented a 'cloaking device'


Posted on Wednesday, 23 August, 2017 | Comment icon 12 comments

The technology could help to reduce road accidents. Image Credit: sxc.hu
The car manufacturer is aiming to use a form of cloaking technology to improve driver visibility.
While Harry Potter had no trouble staying out of sight with his magical invisibility cloak at Hogwarts, rendering something invisible in the real world has so far proven to be a lot more challenging.

Now Japanese automotive giant Toyota has expressed an interest in developing its own unique type of 'cloaking device' for use in the automobile industry and has even acquired a new patent for "apparatuses and methods for making an object appear transparent."

What's interesting about it is the way this technology will be used. Rather than 'cloaking' an actual car, the idea would be to make the pillars to the left and right of the dashboard transparent so that the driver could see their surroundings more clearly.

It's actually quite a clever concept, especially given that these pillars do obstruct the driver's view. The way in which the firm hopes to achieve this is also deceptively simple.

"Light from an object on an object-side of the cloaking device [i.e., facing the road] is directed around an article [the A-pillars] ]within the cloaking region and forms an image on an image-side of the cloaking device [i.e., facing the driver's seat] such the article appears transparent to an observer looking towards the object," the patent reads.

In other words - a series of mirrors would be used to bend visible light around the pillars so that the driver can see straight through them as if they weren't even there.

If the idea actually makes it in to consumer vehicles it could have the potential to save many lives.

Source: NBC News | Comments (12)

Tags: Cloaking, Invisible

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #3 Posted by khol on 24 August, 2017, 3:04
It would be cheaper but cameras and screens are passe'..screens take up space ect. I do agree its a great idea and especially used in such an unexpected way..cool stuff
Comment icon #4 Posted by LoveDuet on 24 August, 2017, 8:56
The best thing about eliminating that blind spot is being able to see motorcycles. I am sure a lot of motorcycle accidents occur because of that and other blind spots on vehicles. Hope this comes to fruition.
Comment icon #5 Posted by seanjo on 25 August, 2017, 13:34
Do you know of such a plastic?...how would you hide the engine and people and fuel and brake fluid?
Comment icon #6 Posted by seanjo on 25 August, 2017, 13:35
I'm sure BAe were experimenting with this kind of tech.
Comment icon #7 Posted by seanjo on 25 August, 2017, 13:37
Doh' should have read the article first instead of making assumptions!
Comment icon #8 Posted by toast on 25 August, 2017, 14:01
Lame. Alfa Romeo had that in the 80s already. The cars vanished by corrosion.
Comment icon #9 Posted by paperdyer on 25 August, 2017, 17:58
This could be a very good thing.  There is one huge blind spot at the frame for the windshield in my Sienna.  I'm surprised how large of an item can hide there.
Comment icon #10 Posted by taniwha on 28 August, 2017, 19:48
Why not just build these already?  
Comment icon #11 Posted by Boozemonkey on 28 August, 2017, 21:54
It works. I often walk past Toyota's and don't even realise they are there...
Comment icon #12 Posted by The Silver Thong on 30 August, 2017, 19:34
Makes crossing the street a bit of a gamble


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