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Mercedes-Benz Active Night View Assist Plus puts pedestrians in the spotlight

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December 8, 2010

New spotlight function for Active Night View Assist Plus illuminates pedestrians

New spotlight function for Active Night View Assist Plus illuminates pedestrians

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Since 2009, Mercedes-Benz's luxury class models have included an Active Night View Assist Plus feature that detects pedestrians on the road and highlights them on the display on the instrument cluster using infra-red light projectors. The company has now taken the assistance system a step further with a new spotlight function that specifically directs light on people on or near the road so that both the driver and the pedestrian are alerted to the presence of the approaching vehicle.

When the car's infra-red night vision camera detects people on or near the road, the system automatically flashes a spotlight on them using one of the main headlamps. The camera can detect pedestrians within a range of 80 m (262 ft) with the image displayed on a display in the instrument cluster. While Mercedes says studies have shown that pedestrians are alerted to the approaching vehicle, the spotlight function doesn't dazzle other road users as illumination doesn't occur if other road users happen to be traveling in front of the car or approaching in the opposite direction are located near the pedestrian.

New spotlight function for Active Night View Assist Plus

The latest development of the Active Night View Assist Plus system is designed to warn drivers and pedestrians on poorly lit country roads. According to research by he German Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt), five times as many pedestrians are killed on country roads at night than during the day, even though only 20 percent of car journeys take place at night.

The new spotlight function is just the latest in a number of smart headlight systems introduced by Mercedes-Benz, including the high-beam assistant system that uses a dash-mounted camera to automatically adapt headlamp range to the distance of other vehicles. The spotlight function will be included as a standard feature in a luxury class Mercedes model from the summer of 2011.

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag.   All articles by Darren Quick
3 Comments

just what I need, more light in my eyes when I'm walking at night. thanks, Mr. Daimler.

jcomeau
9th December, 2010 @ 09:31 am PST

I hope it's Toyota or Ford doing this, they sell far cheaper cars. Benz is a big money-gobbler, until the level of technologies they can provide in their cars doesn't tally with the price anymore.

Akemai Olivia
9th December, 2010 @ 04:54 pm PST

They need to fit spinning scimitars to the wheels. That will get rid of the pedestrian problem.

Mr Stiffy
9th December, 2010 @ 08:33 pm PST
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