New Infrared Car System Technology Spots Wildlife

In discussing automobile technology, all automative innovations are made toward make the car better and safer for the consumer. About 13 years ago, an in-car night vision system was made to assist drivers in spotting pedestrians at night. However, this technology had one major flaw in the fact that it could not detect wildlife. Now zooming forward to today, crashes involving deer have caused around 27,000 casualties and resulted in 3.5 billion dollars in damage. For this reason, the Swedish safety system Autoliv and Mercendes-Benz are now using the NightVision assist Plus for Benz’s new 2014 vehicles. This is how it works: first there are two cameras, one in the grill and one on windshield. The camera on the grill is an far-infrared camera that constantly scans the area for warm-blooded creatures that are at the headlight range. The next camera on the windshield is a near-infrared camera that captures a picture of the open road. These images plus the constant scanning are then crossed together in a control unit to eliminate false positives and to provide an accurate depiction of where the obstruction is. The obstructions are also depicted on the NightVision heads-up display so one can see any obstacles hot-or-cold that are in the way. So when an animal appears on the roadway, not only is the animal shown on the display, one’s headlights would also spotlight the wildlife to show you where it is, and if crash is imminent, an alarm will sound and the breaks will pre-charge. However, today, this new technology is only available in luxury vehicles such as the Mercedes-Benz. If this infrared technology can prove itself to prevent some of the 27,000 casualties and 3.5 billion dollars of expense, I believe this new safety feature should come standard in all vehicles to insure the safety of all consumers.



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