DaimlerChrysler Unveils Active Night Vision System
STUTTGART, Germany, April 11 -- A team of DaimlerChrysler researchers in Ulm, Germany said it has developed a night vision system that uses infrared lasers to illuminate people, animals, road signs and road debris up to 500 feet ahead of a moving vehicle. The researchers noted that the system differs from current thermal night vision systems in being able to detect objects regardless of temperature; it also illuminates the road up to 500 feet ahead of the vehicle without blinding oncoming drivers.
In the DaimlerChrysler system, two laser headlights on a vehicle's front end illuminate the road with infrared light. A video camera records the reflected image, which then appears in black and white on a heads-up screen located within the driver's field of vision.
The researchers said they are currently testing the system in a bus; additional research prototypes are scheduled to be developed throughout the year. DaimlerChrysler expects the system eventually to be available in premium passenger automobiles and other vehicles that benefit from highly reliable safety systems, such as buses, trucks, emergency service vehicles and taxis.
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