Making Sense of the New Eye-Tracking Technology for Car Headlights

There is a new type of technology available for the “face” of the automotive world – Eye-Tracking Technology. This technology means the headlights on a vehicle are aimed at a driver’s eye. Opel is the pioneer of this particular technology, which comes on the heels of innovations like laser headlights and LED Matrix technology. Audi and BMW are at odds over who originally introduced the laser headlights. However, there is no argument that Opel has the advantage when it comes to this new Eye-Tracking Technology.Eye-Tracking Technology

Eye-Tracking Technology Takes “Less is More” approach

The Eye-Tracking Technology involves a single web-cam, as opposed to five to 10 smaller cameras, which was a consideration for this type of technology to work efficiently. The webcam scans the nose and eyes of the driver, basically the most prominent points on the face. Then, once movement was detected, the line of sight for the driver was estimated, and the headlights were aligned based on commands that stem from the estimates of the driver’s movement, etc.

Opel Eye-Tracking Technology

This initial attempt, however, fell short of success as it was too delayed to be effective with the way traffic is constantly changing and conditions can unexpectedly alter in an unpredictable pattern. Therefore, the algorithm was changed, and Opel began expanding the parameters for the webcam while including both central photo-diodes and peripheral infrared sensors on the camera. This improved the webcam’s ability to scan the driver’s eyes during the dusk and night-time driving periods. Meanwhile, it allows the scans to be completed 50 times per second. This allows for instant changes as necessary to both horizontal and vertical headlight focus.

There is one significant factor that needed addressed before complete success could be claimed, however. That is the need to address the constant movement of a driver’s eyes from point to point along the road and while checking mirrors, etc.., during the drive. The light cone could not jump erratically like the driver’s eyes do, as it would create too great a distraction for drivers both within the car and the oncoming traffic. A sophisticated delay algorithm was created that allows an appropriate rate of adjustment without the need to move constantly. With this algorithm, different drivers can utilize this feature equally, without the need to have a personal adjustment completed prior to driving.

Opel Eye-Tracking Technology how it works

System predicted to hit Market in Next Year or Two

This system is predicted to hit the market in the next year to year and a half, provided development continues at its current rate. The introduction of LED Matrix technology and an improved AFL+ system are also scheduled to be introduced in that same time frame. With these various methods of improving headlights on the market, it is impossible to predict what focus the automotive industry will have next, when it comes to improving safety and performance of vehicles on the roadways of the world. For now, it may be best to stick with the car you have now, maybe until something is confirmed. If your main focus is the headlights on your car, you may not have to wait as long as you thought to give this a little update. By making changes like switching to Xenon Headlights, you can improve the safety of your car by improving the headlights. This will add something new to your car, even if it is a small upgrade. It is better than nothing. Still, it is good to see that the safety of their passengers is important to the various companies hard at work on new vehicle models for the coming year. These vehicles continue to improve with the various new technologies incorporated into their stock models.