Walking about or cycling on even local streets at night is somewhat of a risk, given that your safety is pretty much dependent on a driver actually seeing you and hitting the breaks at crosswalks, red lights, and stop signs. There’s even more of a risk on scenic roads, where there are less street lamps to illuminate roadways. Drivers are at risk as well, as animals can appear on such roads too, with larger beasts having the potential to cause a serious crash.
Headlights are, of course, the traditional remedy to this nighttime driving issue that affects both pedestriants and drivers alike. But, as any driver knows, the range of vision granted by a basic set of headlights isn’t exactly ideal. A new innovation in night vision-headlight technology aims to improve upon this perdicament all drivers face.
Major car manufacturer Ford has developed two pieces of technology which will serve to greatly increase the night vision capabilities of their automobiles, preventing potential accidents by allowing drivers to see pedestrians, cyclists, or animals several precious seconds in advance, reports Fast Company.
Of the two prototypes, one utilizes an infrared camera, similar to what’s used in night vision scopes and other night vision technologies, that’s built into the front of the car. The camera is able to recognize objects emitting infrared radiation (so people and animals) and then alert drivers via a spotlight and in-car warnings.
The other prototype is able to widen a headlights light beam when drivers encounter intersections or other spots where it may be difficult to spot an incoming person. By using a system that is able to document and recognize roadway features, along with GPS data, the technology can create the ideal lighting for a specific route.
As pointed out by Fast Company, the new technology could reduce accidents by 7% to 10%, a figure given by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Cars endowed with the new technology that can also brake automatically could lower the amount of potential accidents by a full 15%.
For a visual representation of Ford’s new night vision headlight technology, check out the video below.
Featured image courtesy of: eblaser