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Night Vision Technology

Night Vision Technology evolved during the Gulf War from the thermal – Imaging or infrared technology used extensively.

 

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Cadillac was the first manufacturer to introduce Night Vision technology in its 2000 DeVille car. The virtual image which comes on the display looks similar to a black and white photographic negative — the hotter objects appears in white whereas the cooler objects in black. The display of automotive night vision consists of an instrument cluster which makes use of a high resolution liquid – crystal display (LCD, usually the latest). The navigation system or information screen display's location further away from driver's range of vision (used particularly by BMW and the W212 of E – class). The windshield via the heads – up display (of earliest type) display’s objects nearest to driver's line of sight. The dimmer knob is used to reduce brightness. There are two types of night vision systems: active and passive system, both have their pros and cons when compared to the other. The Active system has a higher resolution image and gives superior picture of inanimate objects and works better in warmer conditions. The smaller sensor can be mounted to rearview mirror to increase the range. Though, it does not work in fog or in rain, it has lower contrast for animals and works in shorter range of 150 – 200 meters or 500 – 650 feet. On the other hand the Passive System has a larger range of around 300 meters or 1,000 feet and has higher contrast for living objects. It can be disadvantageous as it is grainy and has lower resolution image. It works poorly in warmer weather conditions and the sensor is large. At a speed of 100 kilometres per hour, normal headlights allow the driver to react in about 3.5 seconds to an object ahead whereas with Night Vision the driver can have up to 15 seconds to react. This system also helps the drivers to see beyond the headlight glare from oncoming vehicles. Objects which emit heat like humans, animals and other vehicles standout from the black of the night.

 

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