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At the moment the headlights of our cars help to illuminate the roads we are driving on at night, and while there are some cars with smarter headlights that will be able to follow the car’s turning around bends, Carnegie Mellon University’s researchers have come up with even smarter headlights that could make its way into vehicles in the future.

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These smarter headlights are basically programmable headlights that will help aid the driver in all sorts of situations. For example the researchers are working getting it to avoid illuminating raindrops or snowflakes in poor weather, and can even help to reduce glare when the high beam is being used. It will also be able to detect the lane you are driving on and illuminate it more brightly compared to adjacent lanes.

It will even go as far as provide drivers with early visual warnings of obstacles in their way, such as a pedestrian who might suddenly dash out onto the road, or an animal running across. All of this will rely on a looped system that will be continuously reading and accessing the driving conditions. There will be a built-in camera that captures images which is then sent to a computer processor in the car to be analyzed.

So far their efforts have proved to be somewhat successful. According to associate professor Srinivasa Narasimhan, it seems that their system has managed to reduce visibility of rain four meters away by 70%, and snowflakes by 60%. That being said despite their progress, it is probably still years away from being implemented into vehicles in the future, but it does provide us with a glimpse of what’s to come.

Filed in Transportation. Read more about Research.

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