Automotive

Bosch driver-safety concept aims to reinvent your car's sun visor

Bosch driver-safety concept ai...
The "raccoon eyes" created by the Virtual Visor are not a Goth statement, but a serious safety upgrade
The "raccoon eyes" created by the Virtual Visor are not a Goth statement, but a serious safety upgrade
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The "raccoon eyes" created by the Virtual Visor are not a Goth statement, but a serious safety upgrade
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The "raccoon eyes" created by the Virtual Visor are not a Goth statement, but a serious safety upgrade
The Bosch Virtual Visor blocks only what's necessary in order to keep the driver's vision clear
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The Bosch Virtual Visor blocks only what's necessary in order to keep the driver's vision clear

According to Bosch, sun glare is the biggest weather-related cause of accidents. The company therefore wants to rethink the sun visor, with a see-through model that blocks sun only where it’s reaching the driver’s eyes.

Current visors block the sun, of course, but do so at the expense of visibility from the vehicle. The Bosch Virtual Visor addresses that, allowing full vision from the windshield while still providing protection from the sun’s glare.

Made up of a single, transparent LCD panel, the Virtual Visor utilizes a driver-facing camera, AI-based facial detection, and eye-tracking software to determine where the driver’s eyes are, and how much sun to block in order to eliminate glare without obscuring vision otherwise. This means that the visor blocks incoming light only on those parts of the LCD panel that are allowing it through to the driver’s eyes. As the driver moves, so does the blocking.

The Bosch Virtual Visor blocks only what's necessary in order to keep the driver's vision clear
The Bosch Virtual Visor blocks only what's necessary in order to keep the driver's vision clear

The Virtual Visor is made to replace a traditional sun visor in a vehicle, taking up the same space and using the same mounting hardware. While not completely “plug-and-play” for aftermarket use (yet), Bosch believes that the Virtual Visor could be integrated into current vehicle design with minimal modification.

The Virtual Visor has already won the CES 2020 Innovation Awards "Best of Innovation" prize in the In-Vehicle Entertainment and Safety category. Interestingly, the device was designed by three powertrain engineers at Bosch, working in their free time with funding and mentorship from the company.

Source: Bosch

7 comments
paul314
I would much rather see something like this for windshields and oncoming headlights. That would make night driving so much less stressful. (And no, my dream gizmo wouldn't block the light completely, just reduce it to a non-blinding level)
buzzclick
I share Paul314's concern. In the past 5-10 years we have seen a plethora of super-bright LED headlamps that are often almost blinding oncoming traffic. I can't believe so many people don't think it's important to have them aimed properly. As for this visor concept, if it does what it's designed to do effectively at a reasonable price, then that's a good thing, unless your car drives autonomously, in which case you won't need it. Same goes for frustratingly bright LED's.
HighlanderJuan
Interesting idea. Yes, bright lights don't do well with human eyes. I agree that the transparent LCD idea might be spread to the whole windshield. Alternatively, and to solve the oncoming headlight problem, maybe we can return to an earlier idea of having windshields be polarized in one directions and headlights polarized in a slightly different direction so that headlights can still be seen but their lighting when viewed by oncoming motorists will be lower intensity. Having suggested that, I should note that it now appears that windshields are extremely expensive (heaven knows why), and polarizing them would raise their costs even more, so I'm not certain how many non-polarized windshields would be replaced by newer ones.

Maybe we should defer all of this out-of-the-box thinking until after WW II is over. ;-)
Signguy
The concrete dividers between highways should have a screen on top that blocks the glare of oncoming traffic; they're only half as effective as they are.
There was a pickup truck with lights that were blinding me, so when he got next to me I asked him to lower his lights, & he said it was fine for him; AND I WAS IN A TALL VAN!
ljaques
Don't know how feasible this is. Ditto paul's concern about idiots with LED headlights. I was very angry when I lived in CA and the ACLU forced the Highway Patrol to stop their brake/muffler/headlight check stations. Ever since then, jerks have been blinding people at night by the thousands, and with the advent of LED lights, it's ten times worse today.
Aross
The sun visor shown has a frame that would cause more blind spots then already in most cars.

Why not add in all car's windshields the same technology that dims down the brightness of headlights that is in the rear view mirror of my Dodge Grandcaravan.
JeffK
I wear polarized, wrap around Rx sunglasses during the day and wonder if this would be able to track eye movement through them. There are also yellow tinted, polarized wrap around night driving glasses available that make a huge difference in dimming oncoming headlights. The polarization is especially useful when driving in rain at night as it reduces the glare of oncoming headlights and other reflections off of wet pavement. Clip on versions are available. I'm partial to the Knight Visor brand as they include a hard zipper case, screwdriver for repair and microfiber cleaning cloth. That said, I'm planning on having a Rx pair of night driving glasses made with a darker tinted section along the top to handle the blue headlights. Yellow tinted glasses are also great on cloudy or snowy days as they increase contrast and are especially valuable at dawn and dusk when the light sky keeps your pupils dilated, making it difficult to see darker things at ground level like children, pets, or in my part of the world, wildlife that tend to dart into the roadway.