The DC100 concept vehicle made its U.S. debut Wednesday at the LA Auto Show, giving American audiences their first taste of a new “Defender” in almost fifteen years. Much has changed since the Defender left in 1997, and the alterations are not limited to the vehicle’s drastic redesign. The DC100 is developing some pretty remarkable technology too.
Land Rover has enhanced their industry-leading Land Rover Terrain Response system to automatically adjust to changes in environment or terrain. A sophisticated series of sensors monitor wheel slip, braking, acceleration and suspension travel and calibrate accordingly with the driving surface, increasing vehicle traction.
Adding to the DC100’s technological allure is the presence of Hi-Def cameras on the front of the vehicle. While only a concept, these cameras are designed to visually analyze driving surface in front of the vehicle allowing the DC100 to ready itself for terrain transition and alert the driver.
Terrain-i is a virtual mapping system that uses a headlamp mounted scanner and a series of algorithms to generate a 3D visualization of the DC100’s driving path. The Terrain-i is intended to help the driver assess potential obstacles in their path and choose alternate routes when necessary. Land Rover anticipates the Terrain-i mapper will be of great use urban consumers by providing city drivers notification of oncoming pedestrians, or other environmental hazards.
The Terrain-i System will be operated via the large touchscreen which sits in the center dash of the DC100 and DC100 Sport concepts.
The DC100 Concept features a sonar system that can evaluate water depth and prepare the vehicle for submersion (e.g. closing body vents, raising vehicle ride height, selecting low gear). Like the Terrain-i system, the Wade Aid diagnostic information would be displayed on the center touchscreen.
('Wade Aid' sensors are located on the wing mirrors as well as the bumpers)
Torque Vectoring improves steering and maneuvering at low speeds by allocating individualized amounts of power to each wheel. The ability to automatically send torque to the wheels with greatest traction should greatly enhance the DC100’s off-road capabilities.
The DC100 is experimenting with a driver-controlled spiked tire system that will allow the DC100 to deploy spikes to their tires when additional traction is required. The spikes would reside below the tire tread under normal conditions, but would protrude beyond the tread under deployment via a pneumatic inflation system located behind the spikes.
Can’t be a Defender without an automatic parallel parking system.
For a complete list of DC100 Concept Technology enhancements, visit the Land Rover Blog.
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