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Night Vision Article and Rudy

Old 03-31-2008, 02:08 PM
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My article on Night Vision is now online, with several quotes from Rudy.

This is an interactive article; please post your own comments and experiences in using Night Vision as well.

Also, my thanks to Rudy for being such a willing subject.

Driving at night can be stressful for older drivers ? and older doesn?t mean old. By age 30, your eyes? focusing power has decreased by half and it is down one or two diopters by 50. Color vision also deteriorates with age, especially for green hues.

BMW has a driver-assistance system that provides improved vision in twilight and at night: BMW Night Vision. It uses innovative infrared technology and a thermal imaging camera that covers an area up to 300 meters in front of the vehicle. The image on the onboard monitor displays objects more brilliantly based on the warmth registered by the camera. People and animals would be the brightest areas of the image and therefore more visible; this is of particular value driving through the country, along narrow roads, and in dark underground garages.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:36 PM
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Nice write-up! And I KNOW that Jonathan is not call you old Rudy...
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:36 PM
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Nice. But too bad I dont have it...
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:42 PM
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Did Rudy really say that?

I just got sold on NV for my next bimmer. Thanks gents!
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:45 PM
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Good article.

I'm curious as to why BMW chose Infra-red instead of light amplification.

The problem with BMW's NV (and I suspect, any other infra-red NV setup) is that simply put - its lousy whenever the weather is cloudy.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:50 PM
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Night Vision worked great last night up my final leg of the home journey -- it detected a herd of elk crossing before my headlights caught them. I drive slowly up that road anyway, the elk's daily habits are well know to the locals, and sure enough there they were. 31 of them, I couldn't decide whether I wanted to watch them 'live' or via NV - there were enough that I got plenty each way.

Rudy's tip is sure correct, to use NV like the rear view mirror for quick glances knowing where you're looking and what you're looking for. As some suggest display in the HUD would be really cool, PERHAPS -- or it might be annoyingly or even dangerously distracting under some circumstances. Also, static info is one thing in the HUD, but real-time video is alot more to ask of the processors and imaging. I'm sure it can be done, however, for a price!

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Old 03-31-2008, 04:50 PM
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You guys ever hear those stories of drug runners that would wear Night Vision goggles on the highways with their lights completely off, so Highway Patrol wouldn't pick them up. Crazy.

I guess if all else fails, you could always go this route.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by C's Bimmer' post='553876' date='Mar 31 2008, 07:50 PM
You guys ever hear those stories of drug runners that would wear Night Vision goggles on the highways with their lights completely off, so Highway Patrol wouldn't pick them up. Crazy.

I guess if all else fails, you could always go this route.
I tried doing that with NV - After a few seconds the NV stops and the warning chime goes off telling you to put your lights on.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by pukka' post='553882' date='Mar 31 2008, 08:55 PM
I tried doing that with NV - After a few seconds the NV stops and the warning chime goes off telling you to put your lights on.
No no...I meant get yourself some NV goggles like they use in the military. Not sure how good the depth perception is, but it's an option.
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Old 03-31-2008, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by C's Bimmer' post='553883' date='Mar 31 2008, 07:57 PM
No no...I meant get yourself some NV goggles like they use in the military. Not sure how good the depth perception is, but it's an option.
I've done that too. Some required training is to drive around with them - the depth perception is pretty good.

The military uses light amplification instead of infra-red. L-A doesn't have the inherent flaw that I-R does. Thats why I asked my earlier question.
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