Transparent Cockpit

A vehicle cockpit that uses retro-reflective projection technology to improve operation, safety, and comfort.

Enhanced Life

With a transparent cockpit, drivers can easily drive a car through narrow streets and reverse direction because they can see the side of the road and the back of the car (operation). It also decreases accidents because drivers can recognize pedestrians or other obstacles (safety). And it presents a wider view of the sky or the landscape, so drivers have a liberating experience like that obtained while driving a convertible (comfort).


To help drivers move beyond the feeling that they are operating a vehicle. Instead, they will feel that they are running or flying by themselves. This goal will be achieved in the next few decades.


Four innovations were synergized to realize the Transparent Cockpit:
  • A display based on "optical camouflage" that superimposes an outside image of the vehicle onto the real world.

  • A system of video cameras that acquires the images that surround the vehicle.

  • A head-mounted X'tal visor equipped with a position-sensing device to generate images that can be viewed from any viewpoint in the vehicle.

  • An algorithm that positions the virtual screen to correctly project images of objects at any distance.


In the current version of Transparent Cockpit, SIGGRAPH 2007 attendees experience transparency in the door and ceiling regions while sitting in the cockpit prototype and wearing an X'tal visor. Within a few years, the full system will be implemented on an actual vehicle.


Takumi Yoshida
The University of Tokyo
Takumi_Yoshida (at)


Kouta Minamizawa
Kensei Jo
Hideaki Nii
Naoki Kawakami
Susumu Tachi
The University of Tokyo