Poor visibility on the road has been the cause for many car accidents in the United States. Sometimes a single accident might involve several vehicles. It may be too late to respond after the drivers identify what is ahead in a low visibility environment due to the presence of snow, fog, rain or darkness. Irrespective of the several safety measures available in automobiles, drivers face a great risk of having accidents at night. For instance, an experienced driver generally looks far ahead (100 to 500 meters) to anticipate situations on the road; however, at night the “look ahead” distance is limited to approximately 80 meters. Therefore, it is a necessity that the drivers are assisted with a device that can “see through” the dark, the rain or the fog that is present while driving night. Such a device can be designed with a specific and proven image enhancement technique that can be used to brighten, de-rain or de-fog the images captured in such low visibility environments. The enhanced images can then be used to assist motorists in operating their vehicles under those low visibility conditions. It would be helpful to have enough reaction time if a driver can detect road hazards, pedestrians, and animals on the road well beyond the visible range of vehicle headlights. It is envisaged that this system would be able to provide a clear and complete view and would be able to eliminate even the critical “blind-spot” during driving.

VIPS – Vision Lab Project Demonstrations