Bosch is rethinking driver safety and comfort, bringing one of the most overlooked interior components into the spotlight, the sun visor. At best, it blocks some of the sun from your eyes but along with it, some of your view is blocked as well.
Bosch says it is offering a solution with the ‘Virtual Visor’, a transparent LCD and intuitive camera, which replaces the traditional vehicle sun visor completely. Bosch’s technology utilises intelligent algorithms to intuitively block the sun’s glare and not the view of the road ahead.
“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,” said Dr. Steffen Berns, president of Bosch Car Multimedia. “Some of the simplest innovations make the greatest impact, and the Virtual Visor changes the way drivers see the road.”
The Virtual Visor links an LCD panel with a driver or occupant-monitoring camera to track the sun’s casted shadow on the driver’s face. The system uses artificial intelligence to locate the driver within the image from the driver-facing camera. It also utilises AI to determine the landmarks on the face ‒ including 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.
“We discovered early in the development that users adjust their traditional sun visors to always cast a shadow on their own eyes,” said Jason Zink, technical expert for Bosch in North America and one of the co-creators of the Virtual Visor. “This realisation was profound in helping simplify the product concept and fuel the design of the technology.”
The creative use of liquid crystal technology to block a specific light source decreases dangerous sun glare, driver discomfort and accident risk; it also increases driver visibility, comfort and safety.
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.