So self-driving vehicles and street-ready hovercrafts (so to speak) are probably still quite a ways off, considering our species’ propensity for dangerous accidents. But there are still many ways in which driving our regular old cars could be improved upon. As frustrating as heavy traffic is, the worst time to be on the road is in a heavy thunderstorm at night. Not only is the road slicker than a squid’s oil hole, but it’s nearly impossible to see anything, even in well-lit areas. If a new technological development from Intel and Carnegie Mellon University hits the consumer landscape — which it probably won’t for a few more years — it could knock out much of the difficulty of rainy night driving. Or blot out, rather.
Instead of regular beamed headlights, the companies have developed a projection system that involves a camera beneath the light projector that monitors the raindrops falling in front of the lights. That information is processed almost instantly, and a predictive pattern of rain is sent back to the projector, which essentially doesn’t illuminate the rain. As a result, it looks like you’re driving though a mere drizzle. It sounds kind of impossible, and it’s hard to imagine it working as well in really harsh weather, but the video below showcases the device in action.
I’m not disillusioned enough to think that I’d ever be able to afford whatever high-end car this projector will eventually get installed in, but I’m behind the process nonetheless. Then the wealthier assholes might drive a little better. Beam up here if you need insurance.