PHOENIX, Feb. 12 (UPI) -- Honeywell Aerospace is to develop virtual reality technologies for future military ground vehicles, including an instrument panel that replaces windows.
The work has been commissioned by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for its Ground X-Vehicle Technologies program, which is to explore new technologies to improve the survivability, agility and mobility in next-generation military vehicles, such as trucks, tanks and armored vehicles.
"The development of virtual window technology is a significant shift in the concept of design for military ground vehicles," said Carey Smith, president of Defense and Space at Honeywell Aerospace. "No longer would drivers of these ground vehicles need to rely on the view through the windows alone; this technology would provide them with improved awareness that could impact the survivability of a new, more agile ground vehicle solution.
"Honeywell is a leader in advanced cockpit display technology, so we were able to leverage our extensive background in display technologies, coupled with advanced visualization research, to meet the needs of DARPA's GXV-T program."
Using Honeywell's near-to-eye and display technologies for military and commercial avionics flight decks, the instrument display panel system will project a wide-angle, high-definition view of external conditions. This could potentially enable vehicle operators to track optimal routes over difficult terrain, review infrared and terrain classification views, and see allies and adversaries.
The first phase of the virtual windows development began last year and will continue through June.
The value of the DARPA contract was not disclosed.