One of the worst conditions to drive in would be a dark, rainy/snowy night. Despite helping us see in the dark, the headlamps on our cars can actually decrease our already poor visibility at times. When rain or snow is hit by light, they sometimes bounce back to create a glaring beam of light that can be distracting to drivers. However, it looks like such problems might be a thing of the past.
Some folks recently came up with a system that eliminates the problem of light bouncing back to the driver. It basically uses a digital projector that illuminates raindrops for several milliseconds, while a camera mounted on the side of the projector captures each raindrop’s location. Software is then used to predict where the raindrops will fall within the driver’s field of view. With this data, the system turns off light rays from the headlights that would normally hit the raindrops, leaving only the beams of light that can travel uninterrupted between the falling drops.
According to reports, vision accuracy is as high as 70% at 30kmh in severe thunderstorm rain – not exactly perfect, but good enough to drive in without too much fear of driving into something unseen. Now if only they could stop the roads from being slippery as well.
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