Driving at night has now become much safer thanks to BMW coming out with “night vision” for pedestrian detection. On the BMW website, it states “An infrared camera positioned in the BMW kidney grille reveals objects up to 300 metres ahead of the vehicle. Pedestrians and cyclists are identified and highlighted on the Control Display. Three processors simultaneously calculate all movements outside of the vehicle and the course of the BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé. Should the system detect any danger of a collision, the driver receives a warning on the Control Display or on the BMW Head-Up Display in the form of a symbol that shows the position of the person outside of the vehicle” (bmw.ca.com).
So basically, should the car’s camera detect a pedestrian or a cyclist in the path of the moving vehicle, the person’s outline is highlighted on the display screen inside the car, letting the driver know of the approaching person. With the pedestrian detection system, if your car notifies the driver of the possible collision that could occur, and the driver does not change their course, the car will apply its brakes to avoid a wreck with the person.
While night vision for pedestrian detection sounds like it would be super helpful, an article on howstuffworks.com seems to think otherwise. They state “BMW’s system registers images based on body heat and produces images that resemble a photo negative. While that works well for deciphering between animals and people, it doesn’t do much for revealing a dead animal in the middle of the road or perhaps a large rock or a fallen tree” (Car Night Vision Systems). I feel as though pedestrian detection could be immensely useful, but being able to use it for detecting other obstacles in the road (such as animals or a fallen tree like stated above) would be super beneficial as well.