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Headlights That See Through Rain and Snow

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the still-working-on-seeing-through-cats-and-dogs dept.

Transportation 210

wisebabo writes "I think it was Newton who said if you knew the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, you could predict the future down to the effect the flutter of a sparrow's wing would have on the weather. Aside from quantum indeterminacy (which, of course, he knew nothing about) and questions of free will, it is clear we are a long long way from getting even close to the theoretical limits of prediction. Still, here's something that, to me, is very impressive. Some researchers manage to track raindrops (or snowflakes) in front of a light and, in real time, change the beam so that they are not illuminated! This drastically reduces glare. The obvious application is for driving cars in inclement weather. I'm hoping we're entering a new age where computers (and cheap sensors) have become so powerful as to make possible a whole host of 'magical' (like Arthur C. Clarke predicted) applications."

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210 comments

Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539001)

Thats impressive

Re:Wow! (2)

Exrio (2646817) | about 2 years ago | (#40539085)

Very clever idea, yes, but I wouldn't call it impressive. It's all very simple technology we've had for a while now. Just one of those "Why hadn't anyone thought of that?" ideas.

Re:Wow! (4, Insightful)

Corbets (169101) | about 2 years ago | (#40539253)

Very clever idea, yes, but I wouldn't call it impressive. It's all very simple technology we've had for a while now. Just one of those "Why hadn't anyone thought of that?" ideas.

Isn't that the very definition of a clever idea?

Re:Wow! (5, Funny)

Exrio (2646817) | about 2 years ago | (#40539303)

Yes. I like my statements the way I like my power supplies: Redundant. Which is the way I like my statements.

Re:Wow! (2, Informative)

Exrio (2646817) | about 2 years ago | (#40539391)

Before the grammar Nazis get me, here's the corrected version without the incorrect grammar:

Yes. I like my statements the way I like my power supplies: Redundant; which is the way I like my statements.

Re:Wow! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40540241)

You need to change that semicolon to a comma; semicolons are not used for "which" clauses.

Re:Wow! (0)

Theophany (2519296) | about 2 years ago | (#40539105)

Yeah. Impressive to spend years and $$$ to achieve an overly complex version of something that can be achieved by wearing your (polarised) sunglasses. Added bonus: you don't need to buy a new car.

Re:Wow! (2)

Exrio (2646817) | about 2 years ago | (#40539165)

Driving with sunglasses at night? Must admit I've never tried it, but doesn't sound like a particularly good idea. There are things you need to see out there that aren't exactly well lit.

Re:Wow! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539245)

Of course it's a good idea:

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark... and we're wearing sunglasses.

Re:Wow! (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about 2 years ago | (#40539369)

Different effect. If you used normal lights with polarised lenses it may reduce the glare, but you would still see your light source reflected off the water. If the water is never illuminated, no glare is created and more of what you want illuminated is. You might get in to trouble if you wear polarised glasses and you have an LCD dashboard.

Re:Wow! (5, Insightful)

Joce640k (829181) | about 2 years ago | (#40539277)

"I think it was Newton..."

...but checking up before posting would be too much trouble, right?

Did Isaac Newton even know the universe was made of particles?

Re:Wow! (1)

Dodgy G33za (1669772) | about 2 years ago | (#40539439)

Is the universe made of particles?

Re:Wow! (3, Insightful)

bmo (77928) | about 2 years ago | (#40539619)

"Some scientists claim that hydrogen, because it is so plentiful, is the basic building block of the universe. I dispute that. I say there is more stupidity than hydrogen, and that is the basic building block of the universe." - Frank Zappa

--
BMO

Anyway, I think he's talking about Laplace. (2, Informative)

Rei (128717) | about 2 years ago | (#40539603)

Laplace's Demon [wikipedia.org]

Re:Anyway, I think he's talking about Laplace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539777)

Of course, using a Laplace's Demon is dangerous because if you prevent the predicted event then you could end up damaging it or even breaking reality itself.

Re:Anyway, I think he's talking about Laplace. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40540015)

But that is only really if the universe is in fact fully deterministic, and everything we do, even changing the future events of things, was exactly what was going to happen in the first place. (the "image" we saw of the future could have been a cause of the uncertainty principle, the fact that we influenced out view of the future by changing it, but we never really actually changed it)

And that is also if self-correcting Closed Timelike Curves don't protect the universe from paradoxical events.
With these, you already never created the paradox before you created it since it instantly bubbled through every point in time involved.
You'll just fail to time travel or travel but never kill your grandfather, or perhaps you do kill your grandfather and it was his death that actually inspired your birth with someone that you actually never knew and were just lied to as a child... oh this got rather grim.
Or Fry and nearly Marty.
And a side effect with those is as long as the same, or roughly same event happens, you can loop the same event further back in time than the human race even existed, you could create a singularity of knowledge if you just created an offset of "give your past self your current research".
Of course, killing the original will unroll the entire loop. And if it is a typical evil scientist, he won't interact with people, so even easier to eliminate.

Re:Anyway, I think he's talking about Laplace. (4, Funny)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 2 years ago | (#40540395)

Actually, it means that those of us that were adopted are immune to the Grandfather Paradox, and thus, the only ones that can time travel.

Re:Wow! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539697)

maybe, but it doesn't stop the rain drops / snow flakes being illuminated from other sources (moon, street lights, other traffic, ...)

Magical feedback. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539007)

I'm hoping we're entering a new age where computers (and cheap sensors) have become so powerful as to make possible a whole host of 'magical' (like Arthur C. Clarke predicted) applications."

The word you're looking for is, "feedback".

Sounds pretty futuristic (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539013)

A prototype headlight system can detect raindrops or snow streaks and "dis-illuminate" them, thereby increasing visibility on the road ahead.

Simon says, 'delluminate'.

Magitech (5, Interesting)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 2 years ago | (#40539021)

Here is another possible idea: LCD screen on windows. Track driver eye position. Create opaque circles exactly positioned on the lines between eyes and sun. Far better than those flip-down sunshields. Added bonus, someone will be able to hack it to obscure billboards too.

Re:Magitech (1)

captainpanic (1173915) | about 2 years ago | (#40539065)

If it is gonna be hacked, you can bet on it that the speed limit signs will be blocked first, and that they will be replaced by more ads. If the internet has taught me anything, it is that hackers increase advertisements, not decrease them.

And btw, if it can be hacked, I'm not gonna sit in that car.

Re:Magitech (4, Informative)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#40539145)

If the internet has taught me anything, it is that hackers increase advertisements, ...

Lucky you. Internet taught me Rule 34.

Re:Magitech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539653)

Are you suggesting that finding rule 34 stuff is unlucky? Bah. Who keeps letting all of these normal people onto the internet...

Re:Magitech (1)

trnk (1887028) | about 2 years ago | (#40539889)

It seems clear that windscreens will soon be replacing billboard advertisements with porn*. *Of course then porn will have to be made of this too.

Re:Magitech (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40540113)

If the internet has taught me anything, it is that hackers increase advertisements, ...

Lucky you. Internet taught me Rule 34.

Some of us knew that way before the internet.

Now get off my lawn, I'm going to read some bizarre Victorian erotica.

Re:Magitech (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | about 2 years ago | (#40540421)

Now get off my lawn, I'm going to read some bizarre Victorian erotica.

Whew. I though for an instant you were going to say "Cosmo".

Re:Magitech (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about 2 years ago | (#40539305)

From context, it was pretty obvious what the OP meant was "modified from the original intentions by the user", not "remotely compromised from some sort of nefarious evil-doer". You might as well say that if the car's engine, or brakes, or steering can be modified, you're not gonna sit in the car - they're all far more dangerous, and have been modifiable (and breakable) by anyone who pops the hood or jacks up the car since the start of automotive history.

Re:Magitech (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40540151)

it was pretty obvious what the OP meant was "modified from the original intentions by the user", not "remotely compromised from some sort of nefarious evil-doer"

Isn't it about time we all gave up on trying to use the word hack in its original sense? It is too over-loaded in common usage with negative connotations nowadays. Even here on slashdot, it causes confusion, as the OP's post and its reply demonstrate.

Re:Magitech (1)

JosKarith (757063) | about 2 years ago | (#40539917)

Killed by pop-up viagra spam obscuring the car pulling out in front of you without looking... nice.
ObIrony: Not dying but suffering spinal injuries that prevent any erectile function no matter how many little blue pills you take ...

Re:Magitech (2)

Sussurros (2457406) | about 2 years ago | (#40539069)

Here is another possible idea: LCD screen on windows. Track driver eye position. Create opaque circles exactly positioned on the lines between eyes and sun.

Until some crap in the buffer changes it to obscuring random cyclists, traffic lights, and/or police cars

This one needs a bit of perfecting before it goes between the driver's eyes and the road. It does hold great possibilites though for highlighting cyclists, traffic lights, road signs, and police cars. Your idea is excellent but I do get the feeling that we're missing some really fantastic possiblities - especially when combined with the idea in the article.

Re:Magitech (1)

TwentyCharsIsNotEnou (1255582) | about 2 years ago | (#40539087)

Do you really think ads are that evil? Even billboard ads?

Sure, on a webpage ads consume some of your bandwidth, battery power, slow down browsing... but billboards are about as passive as you can get.

Re:Magitech (4, Insightful)

dargaud (518470) | about 2 years ago | (#40539217)

Do you really think ads are that evil? Even billboard ads?

Abso-fucking-lutely. It's either one of those: either they work or they don't.. If they work, it means that they attract your attention and disturb you from driving; hence they make driving unsafe and they should be banned. If they don't work, then why keep those ugly things ? In both cases, ban them.

Re:Magitech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40540067)

But they do work. On a subliminal level.
That is all they care about.

In fact, even more so when you are driving because of the state of mind you are in.

Re:Magitech (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539235)

Depends on the billboard. The electronic billboards can be very distracting to drivers, especially in the evening. And even passive signs can have undesirable content (like advertising XXX videos which my young kids pick up on).

Re:Magitech (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40540235)

Do you really think ads are that evil? Even billboard ads? Sure, on a webpage ads consume some of your bandwidth, battery power, slow down browsing... but billboards are about as passive as you can get.

1. Yes, all advertising is evil. The money wasted on advertising could be used to do things like provide cheaper or better products instead. If advertising is essential to consumer-capitalism, that means there is something fundamentally wrong with consumer-capitalism.

2. Billboards are vile blots on the landscape and you should get a Good Taste award if you blow a few of them up..

3. I'll get my coat.

Re:Magitech (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about 2 years ago | (#40539143)

Here's another idea: don't tell anyone your brilliant* idea.

*but don't worry, I'm sure someone will be along to pour scorn on it any minute. "It'll only be effective for about 5 hours a day!" for example.

Larry Niven had it on some of his spacecraft (1)

wisebabo (638845) | about 2 years ago | (#40539155)

I remember reading some of Larry Niven's earlier SF stories in which a variation of this was used on his spacecraft. They were made out of Puppeteer General Product hulls which were transparent in the wavelengths their customers "saw" in. Anyway, the spacecraft hulls had this sun screening trick.

There was one story ("Neutron Star"?) in which the protagonist worried if any of the other alien species saw in X-Rays.

Re:Magitech (1)

TheCycoONE (913189) | about 2 years ago | (#40540457)

Does everyone have to go through field of vision tests first to ensure that you're not making them more at risk? How does this help when the sun is in my FoV? I can certainly see the visor when I drive, e.g. every time I look to the rear view mirror.

Hmm... (3, Funny)

Chewbacon (797801) | about 2 years ago | (#40539031)

Can we adapt this tech to my TV for when my wife casually walks between me and the screen while I'm playing Call of Duty?

Blame it on the rain yeah yeah (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539037)

Or you could just reduce speed according to road conditions. Get off my lawn! This and the back up cam will clearly make it easier to see the expressions on the faces of pedestrians as you run them down. And that's something I can get behind.

Re:Blame it on the rain yeah yeah (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539367)

I'm sympathetic to this, but on the other hand, I've driven through some pretty urgh conditions where even going 5mph, it was nearly impossible to see anything. I'd have killed for something like this a few of those times, even if the benefit might be slight.

Re:Blame it on the rain yeah yeah (2)

Higgs Bosun (2676655) | about 2 years ago | (#40539751)

Get off my lawn! This and the back up cam will clearly make it easier to see the expressions on the faces of pedestrians as you run them down. And that's something I can get behind.

So you want to get behind backup cameras being used to reverse over people? I can only assume you have some kind of crush fetish!

Free will? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539047)

'Free will' (read: your brain) is special and sits outside the sphere of the physical realm?

Besides the fact that according to recent advances in the cognitive sciences free will is increasingly overrated.

Re:Free will? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539647)

I've never been quite sure what people are really hoping for when they believe that consciousness is set aside from the normal rules. A mind completely without rules may as well be replaced with a random number generator, for all the good that it would do. A personality is made up of consistency in behaviour and rules that determine how you arrive at that behaviour. Even if you assume that the computing substrate is a "soul" rather than a brain, you're not getting away from the fact that some kind of computation is going on.

Re:Free will? (2)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40540289)

'Free will' (read: your brain) is special and sits outside the sphere of the physical realm?

Besides the fact that according to recent advances in the cognitive sciences free will is increasingly overrated.

Yup, the human brain is just a slightly complicated computer, and real soon now we'll be able to build an exact replica of one, upload our "software" into it and live forever.

And computers don't have free will, or else they wouldn't waste their time doing tedious calculations for human beings.

interesting but... (1)

gruntkowski (1743014) | about 2 years ago | (#40539073)

A very interesting approach and quite cool. But I have some doubts. For me, the most annoying during rain is the glare from the wet road itself. When very wet, you can't see the markings (because of glare) which can lead to dangerous situations. The article does not mention this. And a second thing: shouldn't we be ditching headlights completely and go for a more sci-fi approach like HUD's, sensors...? Predator did quite a good job...

Re:interesting but... (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40540341)

Predator did quite a good job...

Yeah, but if you covered yourself in mud, you became invisible to him. So that would be pretty dangerous tech if you drove in a lot of wet and dirty conditions, I'd have thought.

You really need to think these things through properly.

Self computation Paradox (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539089)

Actually you'd also have to be an outside observer of the universe to predict its future, as any computer inside the universe would also have to predict its own actions before they actually happened.

Re:Self computation Paradox (1)

tehcyder (746570) | about 2 years ago | (#40540361)

Actually you'd also have to be an outside observer of the universe to predict its future, as any computer inside the universe would also have to predict its own actions before they actually happened.

I think the whole idea depends on a purely clockwork/mechanistic view of the universe, with no free will or decision making involved.. That does not appear to be how the universe works though.

What "Newton said" : citation needed (3, Interesting)

waterbear (190559) | about 2 years ago | (#40539101)

"I think it was Newton who said if you knew the position and velocity of every particle in the universe, you could predict the future down to the effect the flutter of a sparrow's wing would have on the weather."

Doesn't sound much like the kind of thing Newton wrote, have you got a citation for it?

-wb-

You're right! It was Lap Place (4, Informative)

wisebabo (638845) | about 2 years ago | (#40539203)

"We may regard the present state of the universe as the effect of its past and the cause of its future. An intellect which at any given moment knew all of the forces that animate nature and the mutual positions of the beings that compose it, if this intellect were vast enough to submit the data to analysis, could condense into a single formula the movement of the greatest bodies of the universe and that of the lightest atom; for such an intellect nothing could be uncertain and the future just like the past would be present before its eyes."

— Marquis Pierre Simon de Laplace

Ok, I didn't get the quote exactly right but I think I captured the gist of it.

Re:You're right! It was Lap Place (1)

dan_in_dublin (833271) | about 2 years ago | (#40539675)

well he was wrong, this kind of idea doesnt allow for emergance http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence [wikipedia.org] just as biology isnt applied chemistry knowing all the forces currently in existance doenst enable you to predict the future

Re:You're right! It was Lap Place (4, Insightful)

dkf (304284) | about 2 years ago | (#40539713)

well he was wrong, this kind of idea doesnt allow for emergance
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence [wikipedia.org]

Actually, Laplace's idea does allow for emergence (you just need to know enough about the laws of physics and how they combine). Where it runs into problems is when faced with non-linearity (i.e., mathematical chaos and extreme sensitivity to initial conditions) and quantum physics (you can't ever know the initial state and there's no hidden variable theory that you can deduce by observation). In other words, Laplace was wrong but for excellent and interesting reasons.

Re:What "Newton said" : citation needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539251)

According to many including Hawking [hawking.org.uk] (and what does he know?), this is known as Laplace's Demon [wikipedia.org] but why spoil a good mention of Newton? Usually when this is quoted, it starts with "according to Newton's Laws" so perhaps therein lies the answer...

Very impressive (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 2 years ago | (#40539133)

The only downside is that there will be a "danger" period when some road users have them and some don't. Wise drivers will know that the other drivers are going slow because they cannot see as well, but plenty of idiots will tailgate drivers, overtake when it isn't safe, etc.

I also wonder if it would be possible to create an "invisibility suit" with e-ink rain drops if you wanted to commit a crime near a busy road!

Re:Very impressive (1)

Exrio (2646817) | about 2 years ago | (#40539227)

It wouldn't. This only works against specular reflections, which works with real drops because they're otherwise transparent, but your e-ink suit wouldn't be otherwise transparent in any sense of the word. And even if it was, you'd be in the middle.

Re:Very impressive (1)

AlastairMurray (537904) | about 2 years ago | (#40539231)

Another downside/unintended consequence may be that people might drive at dry road speeds despite heavy rain or snow. Not being able to see far ahead definitely makes me slow down instinctively, risks such as increased stopping distance, black ice or hydroplaning/aquaplaning all need to considered consciously.

Not Magical (3, Insightful)

AlastairMurray (537904) | about 2 years ago | (#40539167)

to make possible a whole host of 'magical' (like Arthur C. Clarke predicted) applications

He didn't predict that at some arbitrary point in the future technology would have the appearance of being magical, he didn't make a prediction at all in this regard. His statement "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." (presumably) means "Any sufficiently advanced technology relative to the observer's baseline is indistinguishable from magic.", but that isn't as catchy.

If you could show someone from the 1700's an iPhone it would be "indistinguishable from magic" to them. If an alien race were to zip into orbit tomorrow at faster than light speed it would be "indistinguishable from magic" to us as we don't have any idea how that can be achieved, or even if it is possible. The technology described in the article is impressive but clearly distinguishable from magic, the article describes how it works.

Cut out that "free will" crap. (5, Insightful)

Alex Belits (437) | about 2 years ago | (#40539173)

and questions of free will

Free will has NOTHING to do with determinism. Free will has no meaning except from the point of view of whoever exercises it, and he can not predict his own behavior without predicting deciding to predict his behavior ad infinitum, what makes no sense. For everyone else, the question is absolutely irrelevant, so ability or inability to predict anyone else's actions is completely meaningless.

Re:Cut out that "free will" crap. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539339)

There are people who think the will exists separate of any deterministic systems. There are also people who think the will is nothing but post-hoc rationalization by a conciousness that is merely "along for the ride." Both are nonsense, but noticably conceptually distinct from "free-feeling deterministic will." When constructing a just legal system, it is also important for all parties to agree on whether or not the will is free of causality and reflects a person's intrinsic and unchangeable spirit, whether we should pretend that is the case even if we believe in determinism, or if determinism necessarily frees us all of ultimate responsibilty, at least to a degree that makes imprisonment and treatment the only ethical choices, and rules out capital and punitive measures.

Re:Cut out that "free will" crap. (3, Informative)

Alex Belits (437) | about 2 years ago | (#40540459)

or if determinism necessarily frees us all of ultimate responsibilty.

No, it does not.

Re:Cut out that "free will" crap. (1)

Carewolf (581105) | about 2 years ago | (#40539457)

I think this is obvious to Computer Scientists, some Philosophers are slowly grasping it as well, but many still believe free will and determinism are related. In fact it is in Philosophy considered such a standard view that the opposite view is the one that has a special term: Compatibalism, that a deterministic world is compatible with free will.

Re:Cut out that "free will" crap. (0)

digitig (1056110) | about 2 years ago | (#40539789)

I think you've missed the point. Some believe free will can exist in a deterministic universe (compatibilism, as you say), but others believe it cannot possibly exist even if the universe is not deterministic. In other words, free will and determinism have nothing to do with each other: they're orthogonal concepts. That was taught to me on a philosophy foundation course -- philosophy is way ahead of where you think it is.

Re:Cut out that "free will" crap. (0)

Twinbee (767046) | about 2 years ago | (#40539987)

I'm sure they can be independent, but obviously there's a small and subtle implication that free will at least *hints* at a non-deterministic universe. Likewise, if the universe is deterministic, that provides a *tiny* piece of evidence that free will doesn't exist.

Re:Cut out that "free will" crap. (2)

dominious (1077089) | about 2 years ago | (#40540029)

I think you've both missed the point. We were talking about smart headlights that can see through heavy rain...

Re:Cut out that "free will" crap. (1)

digitig (1056110) | about 2 years ago | (#40540183)

I think you've both missed the point. We were talking about smart headlights that can see through heavy rain...

You might have been...

Old news with IR (3, Interesting)

dargaud (518470) | about 2 years ago | (#40539201)

I know this is a different and potentially interesting system, but I had a crazy physics professor decades ago who added an infrared lamp to his headlights and he would drive in the fog with IR goggles (IR is less diffused than normal light). What was scary is that he would turn off the normal lights to avoid glare, so nobody could see him come...

Re:Old news with IR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539337)

What was scary is that he would turn off the normal lights to avoid glare, so nobody could see him come...

Which is illegal and complete bullshit. Thank you, come again.

Re:Old news with IR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40540105)

A lot of stuff that was illegal decades ago was also fun to do, with little chance of actual reprecusions. No one thought of the children.

Quantum indeterminacy ?! (3, Informative)

slb (72208) | about 2 years ago | (#40539271)

Big misunderstanding about Quantum Physics: It is not because our interpretation of quantum states is probabilistic that quantum physics are NOT deterministic. There may perfectly well be a deterministic behavior of quantum physics, it's just that so far we can only describe is with non-deterministic mathematics. See the Copenhagen Interpretation [wikipedia.org]

Re:Quantum indeterminacy ?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539401)

Came on here to say that, thank you.

Re:Quantum indeterminacy ?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40540055)

Or according to "Many Worlds" interpretation, there are multiple futures. Even if those futures are completely deterministically generated from present, just because they are different, some events cannot be predicted -- because they happen differently in different futures, whatever prediction you say now, in some of those futures you are wrong.

So even that hypothetical infinite intellect could at most have a list of possible futures, and gradually could discard those which are no longer possible. But the number of possible futures would grow exponentially with time, every nanosecond, so the list of them would be unbelievably huge.

scary thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539349)

My first reaction: That would be awesome! (I have made one too many trips over mountain passes in heavy snow storms). My second reaction: Oh god, another excuse for the idiots to drive 60 mph over snow-covered roads during near-white outs. (They seem to be under the impression that AWD and traction control means they don't need to see. Or stop.)

That's not cool (3, Funny)

tinkerton (199273) | about 2 years ago | (#40539361)

Use the tracking of the individual snowflakes to steer a MW laser installed on the hood of the car, that blasts all the nearby snowflakes, reducing glare.

Now it's cool.

But how does the headlight work? (1)

Viol8 (599362) | about 2 years ago | (#40539487)

FTA:

"Light rays from the headlight that would normally hit the raindrop are automatically switched off,"

Eh? A car headlight, even LED ones are not laser beams. The light spreads out immediately. There is no way to selectively prevent illumination from a given area using current car tech so how exactly are they doing it? You can't keep switching off the entire headlight every time there's a raindrop in front of it since there will be so many raindrops constantly in front that it will be off permanently.

Are they using some sort of DLP, laser or what?

Re:But how does the headlight work? (1)

Zironic (1112127) | about 2 years ago | (#40539659)

Well, it's important to remember that illumination is always relative. Rain Glare is caused by the relative difference in light reflected from the raindrops vs the light reflected from everything else.

Thus to reduce the glare you don't need to make no light hit the raindrops, you just need to make -less- light hit the raindrops. I suspect they're using the exact same technologies you see in your average video projector.

Re:But how does the headlight work? (2)

Exrio (2646817) | about 2 years ago | (#40539745)

FTA:

using actual water propagated in front of the projector

(Yes, they could've made it clearer... This is just a camera and a projector sitting together.)

there is a reason visibility is reduced.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539609)

Fantastic. Now we can drive in heavy rain at 100Km/h with lights dimmed. Sounds like a very good idea!

Newton was wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40539855)

We all know of course that Newton was wrong in that regard.

karel (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40540385)

Not sure about Newton, but future of one point in universe is determined by state of all particles in sphere with center in that point and radius of distance of light will travel from that point in time how remote future you are considering. If I remember right, some russian scientist said that many years ago. And by the way quantum indeterminacy has nothing to do with uncertain state of particle, but it only tells us that we cant observe that state. State of particle is always determined (current science is not sure about that though). So long story short, future is determined, but not knowable. Or maybe I am completely wrong :-)

Technology is a poort substitute for experience (2)

damn_registrars (1103043) | about 2 years ago | (#40540391)

An experienced driver knows how to see through the snow, and what the appropriate speed is to drive when snow is falling. Give technology like this to an inexperienced driver and you could end up with drivers who are not driving appropriately for the conditions - at which point bad things happen. And unfortunately driver errors often have consequences for people beyond just the driver of one car...

The Future is Not Predictable (1)

shawnhcorey (1315781) | about 2 years ago | (#40540455)

The N-body problem has been proven to have no general solution. That means the future is not predictable. And this is without Relativity and quantum mechanics. The only way to determine what happens in the future is to wait and see. Everything else is just a guess.
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