Toyota has patented an idea to make the pillars in its cars “disappear”.
Not only are pillars – the bulky vertical frames around windscreens – ugly, they also add dangerous blind spots to the driver’s vision.
The patent filed by Toyota on August 10 details a way to enable the driver to see through them, but without the expense and technology involved in using cameras and projection screens.
Several carmakers have toyed with the camera/screens idea for years; most famously, Mercedes for a 2012 zero emissions campaign:
But the realistic answer, Toyota says, is mirrors. Placed in a way that bends light around the pillars so the driver is actually looking at what’s on the other side.
There are a lot of diagrams and technical details in the patent, but it’s mostly summed up with this simple illustration:
And it’s not just the front C pillar that would disappear. The patent says the solution can be applied to all pillars, which would probably take some getting used to.
Check out the patent here.