If a new technology co-developed by Intel and Carnegie Mellon University catches on, modern cars could soon have the ability to render nighttime rainfall invisible from a driver’s view. CNET reports the optical illusion is achieved by headlights that ditch the old bulb design for a computer-operated system that operates much as a projector does.
A camera beneath the projector tracks rain drops as they fall into the headlight’s beams and uses a processor to anticipate where the droplets will continue to fall. As the system determines the likely path of the rain, the projector shines a light on the droplets, which blocks out the reflection that would normally be illuminated by conventional headlights. Thus, the rain becomes mostly invisible from a vehicle’s cabin.
Of course, as with most ground-breaking technology the new gadgetry is expected to come with a hefty price tag, meaning it probably won’t appear in a production car any time soon. Intel believes the invisi-beams could become available to the general public in the next ten years.
Watch a demonstration of the headlights in action here.