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Video: Intelligent Headlights Outsmart Snow & Rain

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Beth Stackpole
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It's all about the software
Beth Stackpole   7/26/2012 8:24:13 AM
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Very cool development and one that would come in extremely handy in the Northeast where I live. Interesting to see once again software at the heart of driving this kind of new innovation. But waiting a decade to see the technology commercialized--that seems like an awful long time and in not in keeping with today's vastly accelerated time-to-market cycles.

naperlou
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Re: It's all about the software
naperlou   7/26/2012 9:25:25 AM
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You are correct that the ten year time frame seems long. The tightly coupled embedded systems are available now. Various chip makers have SOCs that can handle this today. On the other hand, it then has to be integrated into the car. Autos are not typically built to be that modular.

Rob Spiegel
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Smart headlamps
Rob Spiegel   7/26/2012 1:51:55 PM
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What a great idea, Chuck. Seems like this would get pricy, but who knows, with volume it may be reasonable. 

Roberto de la Mata
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Re: It's all about the software
Roberto de la Mata   7/26/2012 4:23:00 PM
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Nowadays is relatively easy to integrate external systems in automotive electronics. Even this technological solution could be just reduced in a small compact module placed on its final location at the headlight.

At the moment I think the evolution would be necessary only in the technology of light, for getting compact projectors for high-intensity light (such as current headlight) and low cost, for being a reliable and viable proyect.

 

NadineJ
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Re: It's all about the software
NadineJ   7/26/2012 5:12:33 PM
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I agree with Roberto.  It's much easier today to integrate this type of system in current cars.  Ten years to too long. 

It's definitely a great after market opportunity for an entrepreneur.   But, that does bring up the question of Creative Commons.  Will it be proprietary or is it considered important enough for general safety to be shared.  I would hate to think I'd have to buy a Ford to get these great headlights.

williamlweaver
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Re: It's all about the software
williamlweaver   7/26/2012 8:58:09 PM
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The Digital Light Processing (DLP) technology was invented at Texas Instruments back in 1987, so this application has been technically feasible for 25 years, but just now being demonstrated. Another 10-years to commercialization sounds long, but in the grand scheme of things it sounds about right. Especially if you are talking about a safety device that must be developed and then tested and approved by the NHTSA.
 
Heck... I'm still waiting for my flying car and they were invented in the 1950s...


Roberto de la Mata
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Re: It's all about the software
Roberto de la Mata   7/27/2012 5:26:12 AM
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Even if the equipment could be just developed in a profitable way, there are a lot of parameters to control and logical problems to solve during the software programing.
By the time a solution has been implemented which only works in test enviroment, with homogeneous and static background, and a small deep of falling drops. I think the final solution needs a video signal processing much more complex to deal successfully with real situations, as the great deep of field of falling drops or dinamic and much more random and irregular background. Even the water over the surface of the camera lenses (don´t forget that it's raining!) must be taken into account, getting very difficult to process distorted pictures.

Hopefully that is not just pie in the sky.
Such as in other fields, I think though we could have the technology, we still don't know how to use it efficiently and to trasmit a final solution to the market.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: It's all about the software
Beth Stackpole   7/27/2012 7:16:19 AM
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Good point about all the gyrations a technology has to go through in terms of being properly vetted by a safety board. Even so, 10 years is such a long time--given the state of technology today, it could be obsolete by then.

Beth Stackpole
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Re: It's all about the software
Beth Stackpole   7/27/2012 7:17:03 AM
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Good point about all the gyrations a technology has to go through in terms of being properly vetted by a safety board. Even so, 10 years is such a long time--given the state of technology today, it could be obsolete by then.

Seppanton
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Doubt it's practical
Seppanton   7/27/2012 9:27:17 AM
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The concept seems to have a flaw, as the reflection has to take into account the users (driver) eye location. If you move your head, that changes. This would require an eye position sensor and modifcation of the control parameters to account for movement, making calculations even more complex. Between sensing, calculating and controlling there are too many potential failures to achieve robust reliability.

Ultimately the effort and cost would seem to be a lot for a small benefit over just using the low beams and slowing down. If it did manage to work sometimes, it would soon degrade driver skill, and when the inevitable failure happened, the results would be worse than before.

just my $.02

 

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