Cameras will trigger smart headlamps on new Range Rover

Gentex has announced that it will be supplying both its auto-dimming mirrors and its automatic headlamp dipping system for the 2010 Range Rover

The latter, called "High Beam Assist" or "SmartBeam", has a small camera on the front of the interior mirror and a microprocessor within, that can decide whether lights seen by the camera are car head or tail lights, street lights, or something else.

If it detects any of the first three categories, it dips the lights, otherwise it returns them to full beam. The camera and electronic processing have very modest capabilities compared to those associated with mobile phones, but the software is exceptionally clever in the way it discerns exactly what the camera is seeing.

The technology has been around since 2004, but apart from the likes of BMW and Mercedes Benz, it has only recently started to penetrate more generally. It is also still being developed with even smarter systems either on trial or in development. A full article about the technology and some of its other potential applications will appear in a future edition of Eureka.

Tom Shelley

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