According to Seder, the enhanced vision system is comprised of a variety of forward-looking sensors -- infrared sensors, cameras, radar, and night vision equipment. That equipment records what's in front of the vehicle and relays that information to laser-generating equipment inside the vehicle. The unit analyzes the data and projects highlight lines that better define or identify those objects deemed worthy of extra driver attention. It can better define lane lines, identify obstacles in the road, point out animals at the roadside, or even highlight a destination building based on GPS route information. There are also cameras inside the vehicle to monitor the driver's position, helping to align the highlights over the corresponding objects in the real world.
It may sound like science fiction, but GM is already showing a working prototype and says production should begin in just a few short years. Combined with other technologies, like intelligent lighting, side- and rear-view cameras, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warnings, collision avoidance braking systems and the like, the car of the not-too-distant future may be able to virtually drive itself.The car of the future could conceivably rely on cameras and external sensors to provide all of the outward views for a driver, eliminating the need for glass windows and windshields. Display screens could take their place, providing a variety of real-world and computer-generated information for the driver and passengers. Vehicle design could change dramatically, with no concern for A-pillar widths or rear-view mirrors. Although that may be several decades away, the current innovations in enhanced vision are helping to make it easier than ever for drivers to see better, in any direction and in any conditions.
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