To enhance pedestrian safety, Mercedes-Benz has come up with an auxiliary spotlight feature for its Active Night View Assist headlamps. Before the arrival of this new feature, an infra-red camera was used by Active Night View Assist to record ghostly video of pedestrians within a pre-determined field ahead of the car.
The system plays it in real time on a monitor within instrument binnacle. The driver would then be warned about a potential safety hazard at night or in low light conditions. This new feature works at speeds above 28mph. It warns both the driver and the pedestrians as it uses a spotlight to illuminate the area where the camera detects their presence.
The existing infra-red camera mounted within the headlamp assembly is what tips off the spotlight. Pedestrians are detected at distances of up to 262 feet (80 metres). The main beam function of the headlamps illuminates the immediate area where the passengers are detected.
It depends on the car’s speed but pedestrians can be illuminated up to four times before the car gets to that point. There is a second camera mounted within the windscreen that assists the functions for Mercedes’ Speed Limit Assist and Lane Keeping Assist.
The position of other cars is recorded. It would then determine if it is safe to light up the area where pedestrians are detected. If the setting on the headlamps is on dipped beam, the pedestrian is illuminated with the spotlight function going past the field of the dipped beam.