Night View Assist Plus: An Extra Pair of Eyes in the Dark
It generally takes a long time for drivers to see an obstacle on unlit or poorly illuminated roads at night. The Night View Assist employs an infrared camera to show the course of the road in a brighter light on the display of the instrument cluster, offering added safety in night-time driving.
This means that drivers can clearly see the road ahead, other cars or pedestrians, and obstacles over a great distance, enabling them to detect and react more rapidly to danger.
The infrared-sensitive camera behind the front windscreen films the traffic situation ahead and relays the corresponding images to the dashboard display. The scenario is illuminated by infrared light, which is invisible to the human eye. Two infrared headlamps to the right and left of the radiator grille serve as the light sources. The range of the two infrared headlamps is practically equivalent to that of standard bi-xenon light in high-beam mode – but with the advantage that oncoming traffic is not dazzled.
At the push of a button, the system shows the driver things normally hidden in the dark – and in an area perfectly positioned within the driver’s field of vision. The video image on the large eight-inch display helps drivers to detect at an early stage both "warm" objects (like people and animals) and "cold" obstacles such as big rocks or dropped cargo, and then take the appropriate action. The system offers a key advantage compared with those that cannot recognise "cold" objects.
The range of the two infrared headlamps of more than 150 metres to the right and left of the radiator grille corresponds to that of normal bi-xenon lamps in high-beam mode – with the major benefit that oncoming vehicles are not dazzled since infrared light is not visible to the human eye.
The infrared camera, which is mounted at the top on the inside of the windscreen, "sees" what the driver cannot, and transmits the scene in front as a high-contrast grey-scale image to the multifunction display located directly within the driver’s field of vision. The image the driver sees is similar to what one would see through the windscreen with the high beams turned on.
Two infrared headlamps integrated into the front illuminate the road surface with non-dazzle infrared light which cannot be seen by the human eye. In this way an infrared camera is able to record what has been illuminated and relay it to the control unit of the NIGHT VIEW ASSIST PLUS system. This can identify pedestrians and, in certain conditions, cyclists on unlit bikes. The view is displayed on a display in the vehicle interior and persons registered are highlighted. If the spotlight function has been activated, anyone identified on the side of the road on the passenger side will also be flashed up and the driver’s attention thus drawn to that person. The flashing is controlled in such a way that any vehicles in front or oncoming traffic are not dazzled.