Dynamic Lights Adjustment driven by Traffic Situation
Publication Date: 2003-Mar-20
The IP.com Prior Art Database
“Dynamic Lights Adjustment driven by Traffic Situation”
The basic concept described in this invention disclosure is the adjustment of the exterior lighting system of automobiles (e.g. modifying the beam direction or modifying the strength of the beam) based on information on the current traffic situation collected via sensor systems (e.g. a camera with computer vision software).
Such an adjustment of the lighting system based on an automatically detected traffic situation can help to always realize the optimal viewing conditions for the driver of the car which is equipped with such a system as well as for the drivers of other (oncoming) cars, who may be negatively affected in their sight due to the lighting of the car that they are approaching.
The lighting adjustment can also be used to alert drivers about potential obstacles in a natural and smooth way, e.g. by pointing the light beam on a pedestrian who suddenly appears on the side of the road.
In a variant of this invention disclosure, the lighting systems of the cars can be used for communication between the cars, when the sensor system of one car detects the changes in the lighting of other cars and interprets this observation in a certain way.
Application Area / Background:
One trend in the automobile industry is that cars are becoming more and more intelligent. They are being equipped with sensor systems in order to learn about the current situation – and then act accordingly, e.g. to warn the driver about a potentially harmful condition. Very simple examples are warnings when a door is not fully closed or when the handbrake is not fully loosened while driving. More complex systems will over time become possible with more advanced sensor systems. Computer vision technology will play an important role in this respect due to the large amount of information (and different types of information) that it can collect.
For every car, an important interface to the outside world is its lighting system. Its main purpose is to light the road at dawn or at night so that the driver can still see the road well. It also allows other drivers to see the car better in such situations. If the lighting system is not well adjusted, other cars can also be negatively affected, when the light coming from such a car blinds their drivers. Eventually, the lighting system (and not only the indicators for turning) is also used for communication, e.g. when a driver flashes his lights in order to signal to another driver that he will let him pass or – in a more aggressive variant – when the lights are used, often illegally, to signal a slower driver to allow passing.
This invention disclosure deals with the combination of a car’s sensor and lighting systems with the ambition to create an intelligent lighting system.
A very simple (and well-known) ‘intelligent’ lighting system consists of a light sensor, which detects whether there is sufficient outside light to drive witho...