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BMW launches ‘see in the dark’ technology

BMW has announced it will be launching night vision and high-beam assistant lighting systems across its models this autumn.

The night vision system uses a thermal imaging camera to ‘illuminate’ pedestrians, animals or any objects emitting heat up to 300 metres ahead of the car. Infrared technology generates an image of the road ahead on the iDrive screen.

The high-beam assistant system automatically sets the bi-xenon headlights to the optimum range and brightness depending on other traffic movements. A sensor at the front of the car detects any oncoming exterior light source, allowing the car to automatically switch between high and low beam for the best level of illumination. For example, the car’s headlights will automatically dip when it detects street lamps (on entering built-up areas) or even an oncoming cyclist, then return to full beam when no light source is detectable.

Pricing for the high-beam assistant on the BMW 5, 6 and 7 Series has been set at £95 but the cost for night vision, which is due to be launched late this year, is yet to be confirmed.

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