Mon | Dec 5, 2016

BMW sees in the dark

Published:Sunday | October 5, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Chad Bryan, Gleaner Writer

It seems to be the hallmark of German engineering to revolutionise the automotive industry, as luxury champion BMW is making waves with its night vision system, which rivals those made by Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

The technology, which was developed by Swedish firm Autoliv Electronics, is a leap forward in safe driving at nights, making people and larger animals in the dark - recognisable in thermal imaging - even at a significant distance - and illuminates them selectively. As a result, the driver is able to have a clear view of everything he or she needs to see when using the roads at nights.

infrared camera

The night vision uses an infrared camera, mounted in the BMW's grille, to detect people and animals up to a distance of 100 metres.

Should a critical situation arise, a warning is shown in the BMW's head-up display. In the event of acute danger, a blinking red symbol (animal or person) is displayed. An acoustic warning is also sounded and then the brakes are primed for acute responsiveness.

This night vision technology is available as an option on the BMW 7 series, 6 series, 5 series and X5 models.

However, the system isn't flawless. When tested in a city in the United States, it did turn in a few false alerts. It is even possible that other heat signatures may trigger an inapplicable warning.