Cars are becoming fantastically complicated. Even once straightforward items like door handles and rear-view mirrors have been given tech-focused makeovers, and now, one of the few car parts left alone could soon be reinvented.
The humble sun visor works in the same way it has done for 95 years, but Bosch is suggesting this may change in the future. At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, the company revealed something it dubs the ‘Virtual Visor’, and it’s considerably more complicated.
The device replaces the usual slab of sunlight-blocking material for an LCD screen. A camera has a good look at your mug, determining where your eyes are and blocking out just enough of the screen so that low sunlight doesn’t blind you. The idea is that you’re left with a much better field of view since the rest of the display is left transparent.
Over in the US, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that the risk of an accident increases by 16 per cent during bright sunlight, while in the UK, the Department for Transport reports that 2643 accidents were caused in 2018 by drivers being temporarily blinded by the sun.
Bosch boldly claims that the bog-standard sun visor is “not equipped to adequately address this safety concern”. Its solution may raise questions about unnecessary complication in car design, but Virtual Visor is an interesting idea, and it’s already been awarded the ‘Best of Innovation’ gong in the CES 2020 Innovation Awards.
As for whether the concept makes it to showrooms, we’ll have to wait and see.