Students in CCS’s Transportation Design program met with officials from the U.S. Army's Tank Automotive Research, Development and Engineering Center (TARDEC) as well as experienced Army officers and soldiers for a brainstorming session on how to create a video display unit that allows soldiers to view their outside surroundings from inside their vehicle before dismounting.
One result is the Virtual Window concept, whereby a super-durable 46-inch flat-screen monitor is mounted to the interior of the rear ramp; it's basically a back-up camera with a big screen strong enough for soldiers to stomp over while they pile outside. The video feed from the camera appears on the display, which gives soldiers the ability to see outside the vehicle with the ramp closed. This visual situational awareness could be a game-changer in how the soldier proceeds out of the vehicle.
TARDEC officials commented on the design session's aggressive agenda and were surprised by how Army officials can talk about ideas and solutions and have them drawn up or visualized in such a short amount of time.
CCS Transportation Design Associate Professor Thomas Roney said that kind of collaboration is essential to the design process. "It gets people who maybe aren't used to being together all in the same room bouncing ideas off each other. You get some better ideas out than you probably would have without that happening," Roney noted.