Future headlights turn rain invisible, we explain how in video

Intel has helped cook up some futuristic headlights that make rain seem to disappear. We explain how it works.

Rain -- the scourge of the night-driver! Too many times have distracting droplets proved an annoyance for those travelling our nation's roads after dark.

New technology co-developed by Intel and Carnegie Mellon University could one day change all that. I've spoken to Intel about the new tech, so hit play on the video above to find out how it works.

Instead of relying on a bog-standard bulb to beam light out over a darkened road, the futuristic setup would use something more akin to a projector.

Meanwhile a camera sits nestled beneath that projector, keeping an eye on drops of rain as they enter the headlights' beams. Information from that camera is sent to a processing unit, which identifies raindrops and makes a guess as to where each droplet is headed.

The projector then blots out the bits of its projection where the rain drops are. The result is a light that shines out from the front of a car in the dark, but doesn't highlight any rain.

You'll need a powerful projector to make it work though, and obviously cramming a camera, projector and processing unit into the front of your car will be more expensive than a normal bulb.

As a result, don't expect to see this technology squeezed into cars any time soon. Intel reckons we'll see it inside new vehicles within a decade, though.

Is this an ingenious way of making driving safer and more comfortable? Or are you perfectly happy with your current car-lamps? Let me know in the comments, or on our well-lit Facebook wall.

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About the author

Luke Westaway is a senior editor at CNET and writer/ presenter of Adventures in Tech, a thrilling gadget show produced in our London office. Luke's focus is on keeping you in the loop with a mix of video, features, expert opinion and analysis.

 

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