Smart headlamps could blink for snow

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Laser headlamps may be gradually finding their way onto high-end cars, but the smart lights of tomorrow might allow drivers to see clearly through snow and rain to potential perils ahead. A team at Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute is cooking up a smart headlamp system that rather than blanket the road with light, instead assesses what’s in front of the car in real-time. By fragmenting the beams into a million smaller segments, each individually controlled, the car could potentially leave a falling droplet of rain in darkness.

Rain and snow are common causes of glare during nighttime driving, with light from the headlamps reflected back and potentially dazzling the driver to more dangerous objects up ahead. While some car companies have experimented with using radar-style technology to augment low-light vision, they’ve never been able to do away with that glare altogether.

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