Road safety is increasingly important to vehicle manufacturers. This is especially true as populations age, road network complexity rises and insurance charges increase.
So, before the whole automotive world descends into autonomous transport, today’s invention offers a small safety upgrade.
When someone is driving and they enter a tunnel, their eyes do an amazing job of adapting the the lower light level. Many modern tunnels help this process along by providing entry and exit lighting which is intermediate between the brightness inside and outside.
There is a general problem, though, that it takes about a second or two for eyes to adapt and at motorways speeds, this equates to around 90m…during which time your ability to read a dashboard can be badly affected (especially if you are older or tired or have vision problems)
Imagine a dashboard display which was attached to a light meter located near a driver’s eyes. The system would use GPS to be aware of eg tunnels or overpasses in the next 500m or so.
Knowing the ambient light level (and thus current state of visual adaptation), the dashboard would automatically and smoothly brighten in advance of entering any dark space…so that, on driving into it, the eyes would be fully prepared.