Driving in a heavy rainstorm can be tough, especially if you live in a big city like I do. Driving in heavy rain at night when it’s completely dark can challenge your driving skills even more, and that’s when I usually opt to just take the train. Wouldn’t it be great if our cars were equipped with a way to eliminate rain from our view when we are driving? It sounds too good to be true, but in reality, we could see this safety feature (incorporated into car headlights) in all new cars within the decade.
Intel and Carnegie Mellon University are working on a new technology which would give our car headlights the capability to remove most of the raindrops from our view when we’re driving at night. Instead of these car headlights using regular bulbs to illuminate the road, they use a projector-like system.
According to CNET, “Meanwhile a camera sits nestled beneath that projector, keeping an eye on drops of rain as they enter the car headlights’ beams. Information from that camera is sent to a processing unit, which identifies raindrops and makes a guess as to where each droplet is headed.”
This sophisticated headlight system with a smart projector, camera and tech will certainly add some cost to the car, but the added layer of safety could make it all worthwhile. Just think, no more leaning close to the steering wheel and squinting out the front window as your windshield wipers do a bad job of clearing the heavy rain at night, in the darkness, on the highway. You can see a more detailed description of how it works in the video below.
This isn’t the first time Carnegie Mellon University’s creative use of projectors has been in the news lately. Just a few days ago, they announced a new projector technology that allows anyone to paint a touchscreen on any surface without being attached to any hardware. I’m looking forward to having these headlights on my car!