High intensity discharge (HID) xenon headlights are already a significant improvement over conventional halogen bulbs, especially when it comes to seeing at night, but oftentimes it is still quite difficult to see a little further down the road. BMW is now offering a thermal imaging system (Far Infrared, or FIR) that will pick up on any warm objects ( people, animals, etc.) and highlight them on a dash-mounted screen.
Dubbed BMW Night Vision, drivers will now be able to see far down the road for rogue joggers and darkly-dressed cyclists.
The system works much the same way as military night-vision goggles do in providing a monochromatic image of what’s in front of the user. Too bad in the demo they don’t make use of the cool green, opting for a black-and-white picture instead. The range is said to be in the neighbourhood of 300 meters.