comment on this article

Smart headlights could improve visibility for drivers

Smart headlights could improve visibility for drivers

A smart headlight system that could help drivers to see more clearly during bad weather conditions has been developed by researchers at Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute.

The system is designed to prevent the distracting and sometimes dangerous glare that occurs when headlight beams are reflected by precipitation back toward the driver.

"If you're driving in a thunderstorm, the smart headlights will make it seem like it's a drizzle," said Srinivasa Narasimhan, associate professor of robotics.

The system uses a camera to track the motion of raindrops and snowflakes and then applies a computer algorithm to predict where those particles will be just a few milliseconds later. The light projection system then adjusts to deactivate light beams that would otherwise illuminate the particles in their predicted positions.

"A human eye will not be able to see that flicker of the headlights," Narasimhan said. "And because the precipitation particles aren't being illuminated, the driver won't see the rain or snow either."

In lab tests, the researchers claim the system was able to detect raindrops, predict their movement and adjust a light projector accordingly in 13milliseconds. At low speeds, it is estimated that such a system could eliminate 70 to 80% of visible rain during a heavy storm, while losing only 5 or 6% of the light from the headlamp.

To operate at highway speeds and to work effectively in snow and hail, however, Narasimhan says the system's response time will need to be reduced to just a few milliseconds. The researchers are now looking to engineer a more compact, faster version of the technology which they believe could be installed in a car for road testing in the next few years.

Author
Laura Hopperton

Comment on this article


This material is protected by Findlay Media copyright See Terms and Conditions. One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not. For multiple copies contact the sales team.

Enjoy this story? People who read this article also read...

What you think about this article:


Add your comments

Name
 
Email
 
Comments
 

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

Related Articles

Nanomagnetic chips?

Engineers at the Technische Universität München (TUM) believe that future ...

What is EMC testing?

Testing of products under EU guidelines to ensure they don't either pollute the ...

NI Trend Watch 2014

This report from National Instruments summarises the latest trends in the ...

CMOS image sensor

The TCM3211PB from Toshiba is a 1/4 inch VGA CMOS area image sensor aimed at ...

BEEAs 2013

The sixth British Engineering Excellence Awards (BEEAs) will be held on 9th ...

Better batteries

For much of the last Century, battery technology didn't really need to ...

The tale of the tape

Data storage, at least at the consumer end of the scale, is dominated by flash ...

Roland Steffen, R&S

Graham Pitcher finds out from Roland Steffen how Rohde & Schwarz plans to build ...