Each year brings thousands of sun glare-related car accidents, with the risk of a car crash 16-percent higher during bright sunlight than during normal weather. That’s according to Bosch, which announced the Virtual Visor in the hopes of re-inventing your car’s sun visor.
The Virtual Visor isn’t merely a larger sun visor that obstructs your view of the road, though it is large. Instead, the Virtual Visor is a single, transparent LCD panel with a driver-facing camera, AI-based facial detection, and eye-tracking software. The hardware and software analyze your face and where the shadows on your face are located. The visor then darkens the section of the panel through which sunlight glares into your eyes and leaves the rest of the panel transparent. It’s all done in real-time, meaning the light-blocking moves as you move.
Meant to replace the current in-car sun visor, the Virtual Visor takes up the same amount of space as its traditional counterpart. That said, the use of higher-end materials like glass and aluminum means the Virtual Visor could cost more to implement than a regular sun visor. Another consideration is the Virtual Visor failing. Bosch says the Virtual Visor will turn entirely dark in that scenario, effectively making it a conventional sun visor.
However, Bosch believes the benefits outweigh the possible downsides. According to the company, carmakers can implement the Virtual Visor into current designs with minimal adjustments. There’s also the key possibility of lowering the number of sun glare-related accidents each year.
We don’t know when you’ll start to see Virtual Visors pop up. Bosch is currently in talks with truck and car manufacturers, suggesting the company’s re-invention of the sun visor might not be as far off as you might think.