How the rain headlamp system will work


development of rain-proof headlights was handled by Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, USA, Pennsylvania. On the official website of the same institute there is a detailed technical description of the invention. The technical assignment was to develop a new road lighting system that would be able to function significantly better in rain and snow conditions than traditional headlights.

A pilot model of the system decided to design on the basis of a special camera fixing rain drops, a digital projector-light divider guiding beams of light along a certain path, and computer calculating this trajectory using the original software. The system captures the droplets that arise in front of the car, calculates the path of their fall and constantly corrects the path of the light beam so that it is directed into a space as free as possible from flying water. According to scientists, such a system should significantly reduce light glare from headlights and shine as if “through rain”.

The pilot sample was tested first under laboratory conditions and then on a real Toyota Prius vehicle. And, while the system is far from perfect and requires refinement, it has already shown its effectiveness. The instruments recorded that at the speed of 100 km/h the glare decreased by 15 -20%, and at the speed of 30 km/h — by 70%. The system’s response range is 3-4 meters. The results are good, but new headlamps for driving at high speeds are to be finalized. Scientists believe that it is quite feasible to achieve a reduction in glare by 96.8%, which corresponds to 90% of the light of the road in snow or rain conditions.

In the given figure, you can independently evaluate the effectiveness of the new system. The upper red line signifies the boundary of rain, and the lower one means the boundary of action of anti-rain headlamps. On the left, the action of standard headlamps is shown, on the right – rain lamps. As you can see, the glare effect is significantly reduced at a certain distance from light sources.

After the appropriate revision of the system, it will be possible to resolve the issue of installing a new type of headlamp on production cars. In the meantime, they exist only in experienced instances.

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