The German company is rethinking driver safety and comfort, bringing one of the most overlooked interior components into the spotlight. The sun causes twice as many car accidents as any other weather-related condition due to temporary blindness.
The AA reports one in 50 accidents are due to sun glare and hundreds of fatal or serious crashes occur each year. The traditional sun visor is not equipped to adequately address this safety concern as it blocks some of the driver’s view as well the sun. Using artificial intelligence, Bosch’s technology claims to block the sun’s glare, but not their view of the road ahead.
Virtual Visor links an LCD panel with a driver or occupant-monitoring camera to track the sun’s shadow on the driver’s face. The system uses artificial intelligence to locate the driver within the image from the driver-facing camera.
Using AI, it determines where the eyes, nose and mouth are located so that it can identify shadows on the face. The algorithm analyses the driver’s view, darkening only the section of the display through which light hits the driver’s eyes. The rest of the display remains transparent, no longer obscuring a large section of the driver’s field of vision.
Says Dr. Steffen Berns, president of Bosch Car Multimedia: “For most drivers around the world, the visor component as we know it is not enough to avoid hazardous sun glare – especially at dawn and dusk when the sun can greatly decrease drivers’ vision.”
He adds: “Some of the simplest innovations make the greatest impact, and Virtual Visor changes the way drivers see the road.”
The Virtual Visor, which was honoured as a Best of Innovation in the CES 2020 Innovation Awards, will debut at CES 2020 in Las Vegas. The Virtual Visor was also named as an honouree in the awards competition, which recognises products across 28 categories. Virtual Visor received the Best of Innovation for the In-Vehicle Entertainment & Safety category, as it received the highest ratings from a panel of judges that includes designers, engineers and members of the tech media.