Nov 20 2009 Ian Johnson
Experts refine pedestrian radar
DRIVING AT night on unlit twisty lanes and street carries the ever present danger of a darkly clad pedestrian appearing as if from nowhere and prompting avoiding action which could lead to an accident if there is oncoming traffic.
Well those bright sparks at Bosch have come up with a solution that could save lives.
It is an improved version of the company's night vision technology called Night Vision Plus which gives the driver warning of a pedestrian at a range three times more than common low-beam headlamps.
The night vision system was first featured in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in 2009 and has now been refined considerably to provide greater safety for drivers and pedestrians
Like its predecessor, this active safety system provides a high-contrast image of the area immediately ahead of the vehicle. Now, however, this image is also analysed enabling pedestrians to be identified and highlighted on the screen.
This allows the driver to take appropriate action at an early stage, considerably reducing the risk of accidents involving pedestrians.
The technology, known within Mercedes-Benz as 'Night View Assist Plus' is now available on the new generation S-Class limousine.
In addition to conventional lamps the system uses infrared headlights which have a range of 150 meters and do not dazzle oncoming road users.
Although this has hardly been headline news across Europe, this security industry/military based technology has to be one of the most significant breakthroughs yet in pedestrian safety.