Military Embedded Systems

Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program completes virtual window technology testing


October 19, 2017

Mariana Iriarte

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program completes virtual window technology testing
Image by Honeywell

PHOENIX. Honeywell engineers completed research and testing of a virtual window technology as part of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency?s (DARPA) Ground X-Vehicle Technologies ( GXV-T) program.

During testing, an augmented and virtual reality headset along with a wraparound display enabled operators of a windowless vehicle to effectively see what was around them. This is the first case where a natural viewing experience has been achieved in an indirect, windowless driving system, officials say.

Engineers leveraged the company's "high-speed graphics processing, human factors design and display systems to create a virtual landscape that enables driving a windowless vehicle over actual terrain at operationally realistic speeds,” says Brian Aleksa, senior technical manager, Research & Development, Honeywell Aerospace. “After bringing a smart design to life with real-world testing, we’ve developed a windowless display that overcomes traditional challenges associated with motion sickness and eye strain. Our solution proves that a safer closed-cockpit experience is possible. There is plenty of future growth and potential application for this technology in both military and commercial markets.”

In July, 2015, the first phase of the GXV-T program began with Honeywell engineers experimenting with the concept and possibility of a windowless land vehicle. Drivers tested their performance using an augmented and virtual reality headset and panoramic active window displays.

After completion of initial testing, DARPA continued its contract with Honeywell through August 29, 2017. Honeywell successfully tested virtual window systems by driving a fully enclosed vehicle on a rugged, off-road desert course. As part of the test, professional drivers maneuvered through the track at speeds of more than 35 miles per hour. They drove the windowless vehicle using 160-degree “battlefield” views through the virtual window display.


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