Don't try this at home, folks
Cars are so chock full of sophisticated cameras these days, that it must be getting to the point that you almost don’t need to look out the windshield. With so many high-resolution views available on the infotainment screen, surely you can drive perfectly safely just looking at that, right?
Volkswagen Group’s Spanish subsidiary SEAT has put that theory to the test. Its new Ateca SUV is available with a 360-degree "top-view" camera that gives a notably wide field of view. To test it, a course simulating an urban environment full of tricky turns and obstacles was set up, and the Ateca’s windows were completely covered.
A passing German couple was asked if they would like to give it a go and, well, who wouldn’t? Driver Stefan climbs into the driver’s seat, rather sceptical about the whole thing, and sets off a bit tentatively. But he seems to build confidence in the system quickly and completes the course without a hitch - much to the relief of his instructor, no doubt.
“What a fantastic experience!” Stefan says as he gets out. “And what a great feature.” He’s not wrong. Personally, I don’t rely on camera views to carry out a manoeuvre, but they certainly make life a lot easier.
And it goes without saying, of course, that you shouldn’t try this at home.