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ChasChas
User Rank
Platinum
Choices
ChasChas   7/27/2012 10:42:41 AM
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This method chose to not shine light on the offending particle. One could also block the light that comes off the offending particle.

We have all seen the auto-dimming welding helmets - can we pixelate them? This would then make a great pair of sunglasses as well.

Interesting project.

 

GuySonic
User Rank
Iron
Re: It's all about the software
GuySonic   7/27/2012 10:09:53 AM
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Being a systems designer I tend to look at applications in a different light.  Using an LED source of light seems a good idea, but just modulating the light as with a projector seems not so practical.  Instead LED color spectrum might be modulated as to provide a light spectrum that has less reflection AND an electronic dash mounted display or heads-up projected image of the road displays a highly processed image of the road ahead.   In this way a practical system treating the snow or rain as noise will show the road ahead clearly when the noise is removed by software process.  This is how I would design this system, Although retired, I still can be called upon to help out with systems designed to save lives.

 

kingg
User Rank
Silver
Intelligent Headlights
kingg   7/27/2012 10:09:11 AM
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Interesting technology and posts.  Some safety concerns: Would drivers with this technology use it cautiously (safely), since they would be able to drive in a blinding thunderstorm at high speeds?  Hydroplaning, coming upon slower vehicles at a high rate of speed, etc.  I question the use of daytime running lights (DRL's) in poor weather, since many drivers are not properly educated on their use. especially in  rain/snow/sleet, etc.  The headlights are typically always on, unless a turn signal is activated, and the headlight goes off, until the turn signal is turned off. With DRL's the driver only knows that his dashboard lights are on, assumes he is safe, and the tailights are not on.  I consider the lack of tailights, when the DRL's are on to be a safety design failure that needs to be addressed. 

Chuck_IAG
User Rank
Platinum
Re: It's all about the software
Chuck_IAG   7/27/2012 9:57:51 AM
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I'd worry about the issue of obsolescence also.  My TV's DLP has been a source of annoyance to me for years- not quite enough to replace it ($$$!) but enough to have to replace multiple components multiple times.  Heat and vibration seem to kill the bulb- is there any of that (heat/vibration) in a car?  Plus, if your concern is to "screen out" the water/fog droplets in your vision, if this is a 10-year proposition it seems to me a heads-up-video display is no farther off, and video signal processing is far more advanced than this new idea.  I wouldn't expect this to make it in the marketplace - more likely we'll lose the windshield and drive by a large TV screen.

dbartow
User Rank
Iron
Re: It's all about the software
dbartow   7/27/2012 9:30:40 AM
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Although DLP chips curently have over 2M pixels, the chipset costs over $200 per projector. Besides cost, the key constrain in such a mega-pixel projection headlight would be the brightness. Currently 4000 lumens is considered to be "bright" for a DLP data projector commonly used in conference rooms. A projector headlight for cars would have to be many times brighter than a data projector to illuminate the road ahead for the same distance that current headlights support. Given all the additional heat that will be dissapated from such a bright light source, I don't know if DLP chips could handle it without extensive cooling measures.

Sounds like a fun set of problems to solve!

 

 

Seppanton
User Rank
Silver
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

 

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
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.

Beth Stackpole
User Rank
Blogger
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.

Roberto de la Mata
User Rank
Iron
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.

williamlweaver
User Rank
Platinum
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...


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