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Electronics & Test

Video: Intelligent Headlights Outsmart Snow & Rain

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rdelaplaza
User Rank
Silver
millions of idiots
rdelaplaza   7/31/2012 2:28:40 AM
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Hey every second thousands of idiots are born, if you find one is yours to keep.

It seems like the inventor got himself quite a few idiots.

OMG we are doomed ! !

pyghtler
User Rank
Iron
Intelligent headlights
pyghtler   7/30/2012 10:28:07 PM
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A far more cost effective way of improving headlights would be to ensure that the bulb, be it incandescent or an LED assemly can be changed easily and effectively, so we do not have one in three cars (my estimate) with faulty headlights, largely because the bulbs cannot be changed without major disassembly - I have even heard of one car that needs the bumper removed to change a headlight bulb!

A reversion to TRUE foglights which have an accurate cut-off of the top of the beam, instead of 'intense visililty lights' currently fitted and misdescribed as foglights could be coupled with one relatively simple improvement. The switching, now likely to be mostly electronic, should switch between NORMAL and FOG/SNOW; the dipping on Normal should be as current main lighting, but dipping when FOG/SNOW selected being between DIPPED BEAM and (true) FOGLIGHTS.

This will overcome the fact so few know how to use foglights, and virtually all factory-fitted foglights being rubbish.

gsmith120
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It's all about the software
gsmith120   7/30/2012 10:14:44 PM
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I agree Beth, it is very cool.  I'm not a snow driver growing up in a place where I saw snow maybe twice as a child. 

This project reminds me of many years ago when some cars had the ability to dim their lights automatically.  I was a child when it came out but remembered my Dad's cousin had a car with this feature.  I remember her saying it would dim it lights when they would pass roadside signs, don't think she kept the car long.

araasch
User Rank
Silver
Re: It's all about the software
araasch   7/30/2012 4:08:12 PM
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My question is what do the drivers of oncoming vehicle see?  Currently, the driver is supposed to dim their lights when approaching oncoming traffic, this appears to assume fully illuminating the field of view, which will blind oncoming traffic.

I seriously doubt that this will ever be fielded in any car for cost reasons alone.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
New-fangled headlites
OLD_CURMUDGEON   7/30/2012 3:33:15 PM
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This is the STUPIDEST design idea I've seen come down the pike in at least an eon! 

Here's the ultimate solution!  With the 3% to 6% fuel saving that we will all realize with our S/S vehicles, what they SHOULD do is to divert that fuel to a super-efficient Bunsen burner built into the chrome on steel front bumper.  When a sensor detects it's either raining and/or snowing, a spark-gap ignitor initializes the atomized fuel vapor to expel a plasma-hot flame in front of the vehicle.  The rain/snow will be dispersed, and driving safety will be enhanced.  By eliminating the water build-up, the roads will stay drier & safer to travel on.

The only problem I foresee is that the nozzles built into the bumper would have to be manufactured of an alumina substrate to withstand the plasma temperatures expected.

ScooterMagoo
User Rank
Iron
Bad idea!
ScooterMagoo   7/30/2012 3:31:13 PM
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A really bad idea!  Most, not all, drivers I encounter have hard enough time driving on dry pavement during the day with all the distractions.....texting (epidemic), eating, chit chatting on the cell phone.  Now, lets give these people the ability to drive thier car during a blinding snow or rain storm and still perform all of the above, not to mention that now you will be able to drive your car in conditions that you couldn't even maneuver in to begin with, or the car has the capability to maneuver in.  Really dumb.  I want my tax money back, thank you.

Pharos
User Rank
Iron
Don't hold your breath
Pharos   7/30/2012 4:40:11 AM
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It's a very clever idea: and having driven current adaptive high beams that blank out a vertical strip corresponding to oncoming driver's eyes, I think it would be similarly good to drive with.

But

 For this to get on cars on the road, 4 things are needed

1) a massive increase in power for a megapixel projector: current projectors are nowhere near the intensity of headlights (lumen comparison is bogus in this case: think candelas). And putting a beam splitter in the light path will only make it worse.

2) Software that can handle real automotive conditions: when a car is bouncing up and down as well as driving forward and round bends, the predicted droplet path is going to be quite complex! Not to mention that this is a safety critical application.

3) A legal framework that will permit it. Automotive industry is global, so to justify the expenditure you've got to be able to sell in all major markets. That means persuading the relevant authorities to update FMVSS 108, UNECE R123, and Chinese GB-regs for a start: and you won't get far in persuading them unless the problems at 1) and 2) above have been pretty much resolved.

4) A means to build them to an acceptable cost: certainly no automotive manufacturer could make a business case with current megapixel projectors, let alone the super-projectors we need here.

All in all I don't feel 10 years is pessimistic. 

GreyTheElder
User Rank
Iron
Attention to details is important
GreyTheElder   7/30/2012 1:07:22 AM
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It appears that few if any posters actually read the article and viewed the supporting  
 videos.  If one actually reads and looks then one would see how inaccurate the posted comments appear.  Can anyone see how you might actually make the idea 
work and bypass the obvious pitfalls?

robatnorcross
User Rank
Gold
Re: Closer look
robatnorcross   7/28/2012 4:38:53 PM
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Thr article says: "Demonstration of the prototype system with an artificial rain drop generator is encouraging making the falling rain disappear in front of the observer."

WTF is an "artificial rain drop generator". These guys need to be doing research in a rubber room.

This makes me want to cry. I heard this morning that EVERY american (including my 5 year old God son) already owes $139,000 in national debt and these so-called "researchers" are spending money on this i'm going to try and explain this to Kory (the 5 year old) that his entire life is going to be spent paying this stuff off.

Engineering and science have finally come down to this.

I'm going to work for McDonalds. At least they are not forcing Kory to pay for my damned hamburgers.

Chuck_IAG
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Closer look
Chuck_IAG   7/27/2012 8:03:23 PM
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There's a link in the article that leads to this:
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~ILIM/projects/IL/smartHeadlight/
The video is below and to the right of the "Smart Car" (don't get me started) graphic.

I second your third-statement skepticism; Seppanton had that assessment earlier as well.

I also wonder who funds this sort of thing.  Hopefully it's from spare change they had lying around, and not interfering with really important research such as whether lab rats prefer light or dark chocolate.

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