Thursday, July 5, 2012

Smart Headlights Turns Rain "Invisible"

Although car headlights have evolved a lot in the past decades, going from simple "lamps" to more powerful and efficient Xenon HID lamps, and even LEDs; as well as adaptive lighting systems capable of changing the light beams to adapt to different conditions - there's are still situation where more powerful lighting doesn't really means better visibility for the driver: for instance, when its raining, with the light shining on the water droplets and effectively making it worse.

If you thought that a smart headlight system that was able to light the road but not the falling rain was something only possible in a science fiction novel, you'll be surprised that it's no longer fiction.

This system uses a camera to see the incoming rain and create a lighting pattern that is projected in front of the vehicle so that it keeps the falling rain "in the dark". The results are really amazing, turning an otherwise "wall of water" that blocks your view into something that you'll barely notice.

And we have to consider that using projectors as headlights allows for many other "futuristic" features; such as projecting information on the road itself (for instance, showing safe distance zone, or navigation information), and creating even more evolved adaptive lighting patterns (avoiding the incoming traffic, for instance) than what is currently possible with the traditional systems.

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