AI-controlled virtual sun visor increases driver safety

January 06, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
AI-controlled virtual sun visor increases driver safety
Blinding sunlight causes more than twice as many serious road accidents as fog, slippery roads or other weather conditions. Even though sun visors protect drivers from annoying backlight, they obstruct parts of the field of vision when folded down. Bosch has remedied this problem with a new development: At CES, the company is presenting the "Virtual Visor," a sun visor with digitally controllable transparency.

Bosch’s invention replaces the classic sun visor by a transparent LCD display and a camera that is aligned with the driver. With the help of the camera images, an AI algorithm controls which areas on the Virtual Visor are rendered non-transparent and thus darkened. The rest of the display remains transparent and the view of the road remains unobstructed.

The AI algorithms recognize the parts of the face such as the eyes, nose and mouth, as well as the shadow cast by the sun on the driver's face. They constantly analyze where the driver is looking and only darken a small area on the display so that only a shadow is cast in the area of the driver's eyes.

"During the development process, we found that many drivers permanently adjust the traditional sun visor so that their eyes are in shadow," says Jason Zink, a technology expert at Bosch in North America and one of the co-inventors of the Virtual Visor. As a result, the driver's field of vision is usually limited by traditional sun visors. "This insight was crucial to our concept of the Virtual Visor," says Zink. This gave rise to the idea of using the familiar LCD technology to darken individual areas of the display in a targeted manner, thereby leaving the driver's field of vision as large as possible.

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