First of all: WHAT VIDEO? My computer doesn't seem to be able to find it.
Second: This smells like a professor working from some research govt. grant from the dept of transportation.
Third: I'm going to stick my neck out and after admitting that I don't know ANYTHING about relativity other than what I see on TV; I'm going to say this is Bull S**t. I'll predict here that this is impossible. There is no way that even a super computer could account for all the possible angles of reflection between your eye and a rain drop and a headlight bulb no matter how complicated the "bulb" is. What happens if you move your head one inch to the left. What happens if there are more than the 10 or 15 snow flakes that appear in the illustration. What happens if the headlight on car behind you reflect off a flake or drop. What happens if you pass under a street light and it reflects off the proverbial flake or drop.
I'll also predict that this would add millions of dollars to the price of a car.
I give up. When we spend tax dollars (government grant money) for this the whole thing is hopeless. I doubt that the aformentioned professor was working for free in his spare time or that this was funded by a car company (except may be GM).
We need to remember that the people that approved this expenditure are also working for the same "company" that just detained two guys at the Canadian border for trying to illegally cross into the U.S. with contraband egg wtih a toy in it.
I always seem to bounce back to the question as to how robust the technology is and who will fixt the hardware and software once damged or non-functinal. I will admit that just about everyone now days travels regardless as to how bad weather conditions are. If these headlamps can be made to work properly, there certainly would be value added, possibly as an option on upper-end cars. I can't imagine what the price tag might but I'm sure it would be substantial. Can anyone indicate if there is a maximum speed beyond which the usefulness disappears?
@bib - I do agree that people's driving skills and knowledge have deteriorated over the years. You don't want to hear my rant about back up cameras and self-parking cars. As I've mentioned here before, I learned how to drive in my Mom's old '68 Mustang. We lived on a hill. With no modesty, I'll say that I'm amazing at parking (have received several standing ovations over the years).
But, I share the road with others. I've been on the Grapevine, a notorious part of I5 just north of LA, on ice and in heavy fog near the top at 4000ft. With less than 100ft visibility, the car next to me turned on his brights. We were all blinded. Including the semi two lanes over. Luckily, no one panicked. He kept them on until we cleared the fog.
Of course, I wanted to drag him out of the car and shred his license. But, lights like these may help with situations like that. The problem exists. A little training would help solve it but realistically, this is the safest solution.
Really? I just found out I have two $375 headlights on my car and I need special wrenches and a forearm with 2 wrists to install them. I wonder what thiese intelligent headlights would cost. Imagine, just a few short months ago, if the visibility in snow was too short and the reflection was distracting me, I either dimmed the headlights, slowed down, or (heaven forbid) pulled off the road. I actually drove in fog (gasp!) the other night and found the fog lights on my car worked without the headlights. This is another product that will be installed on cars, not because there is a pressing need for improvement, but primarily because it will provide one automaker the opportunity to brag that they have it before any of the others. Surely this will make a future "Designed by Monkeys" column as the thinking world tries to figure out what the designers were thinking.
Twenty years ago in my EE senior design class, I proposed an LCD pixel-addressed coating on the windshield to attenuate (not block) the glare from oncoming headlights, to preserve night vision. My advisor told me it was too impractical and automobile manufacturers would never risk it (worst-case failure modes, litigation, etc.) I wonder what he would think of the auto-braking, following distance, drive-by-wire features of today's cars, and what he would say about this.
Upon looking closer at the video, the before-after in the video looks like they just switched from high to low beams. It takes Carnegie-Mellon research to accomplish that? Switch beams? I think I'm underwhelmed. If you need further evidence, look at the volume of light streaks from the illuminated rain toward the bottom of the screen, moving from seconds 4 to 5 in the video: they are undiminished, apart from the dimmed light intensity. You should by rights see fewer light streaks if the tech works- not just a narrower pattern of illumination. Also note the roadsign disappears the moment you hear the click. The middle and edges of the screen see the main reduction- roughly the same as if you switched from higher-aimed high beams to lower-aimed low beams with less intensity. I see this sort of "proof" on YouTube a lot- not exactly a high level of scientific scrutiny. Maybe I could interest the readers in my HHO Generator that improves gas mileage (ha!).
Decades ago, I workled for a small company that had some success in using strobe light effects for the same purpose. he dwell time of any light emission was shorter than the eye's reaction time, so that reflectkions from moving reflectors like snow flakes would be more or less invisible, while reflections from persistent non-moving objects would indeed be perceived. Whether the use of lasers advances this notion is an interesting question.
I simply can't see this as being a viable option. There are simply too many obstacles in the way of getting the light to where it's needed (pun intended).
Because of the number of raindrops, the projector would need to have multi-megapixels of diodes projecting the light. Pixels that would hit raindrops would be turned off, preventing adequate light from being projected. When it's raining, there will be a raindrop within reasonable range at most every angle, so very few diodes would be on. To compensate, those that do fire will have to be so bright they would burn out your retina if it hit your eye.
Cool idea, but we'll once again see a lot of money spent on something that simply is not practical.
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Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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