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The problem with driving in the rain at night is not that headlights aren't bright enough, they're actually too bright, and they light up the snow and rain making driving more of a challenge. The folks at Carnegie Mellon have figured out an ingenious way to minimize the reflection effect using some pretty high-tech gear. They combined cameras and computers to actually predict the trajectory of each rain drop. Lead researcher Srinivasa Narasimhan says that "If you know where the rain drops are, you can sort of stream light between them." Wait, did he just say "if you know where the rain drops are"? The answer is yes and that's exactly what these scientists have achieved.

In place of automotive headlights, these researchers used Digital Light Processing chips to shine light between rain drops. At about 18 mph, they've been able to reduce glare from rain drops by 70% with only a 5% loss of light intensity. Snowflakes are larger and slower and therefore more difficult to track, which means 15% of light is lost and more than 60% of the snowflakes are avoided.

Don't look for this technology to show up on your next car any time soon, though. There are a lot of hurdles that need to be overcome before it's ready for mass production. Most of us don't drive at a steady 18mph, and until they can adjust for higher speeds, the technology losses all effectiveness when increased speeds, turbulance and vibrations are thrown into the mix. Don't rule these guys out just yet, because they are working on overcoming those obstacles.

Source: The Truth About Cars
 
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