Sometimes it’s the smallest things that are the biggest annoyances behind the wheel. On the list is the humble sun visor. It does the job of making sure you can still see the road when the sun’s glare is blinding. It’s a simple thing, but when it needs to be flipped up and down constantly as the sun changes position, then it becomes an annoyance. Bosch fixes that problem with its new LCD sun visor.
The idea comes from Bosch powertrain engineer Ryan Todd, who was frustrated with driving into the sun during his morning and evening commutes. According to Forbes, that frustration led to Todd thinking about ways to get around the problem of constantly adjusting the visor to block the sun.
He got his idea from the way an LCD television works by selectively blocking the light you don’t want to see. He arrived at work one morning and proposed applying this to a sun visor to block the glare of the sun automatically and more selectively.
It’s called the Virtual Visor.
Instead of the usual visor that’s essential just a piece of plastic that swivels back and forth, the Virtual Visor is a transparent LCD display. It doesn’t need to be moved because the driver can see through it as easily as seeing through the windshield.
A camera monitors the driver’s face to see shadows and determine when the sun is in the driver’s eyes. An algorithm then figures out exactly where the sun is coming from and which part of the visor should become shaded to block the sun.
Not only does that eliminate constantly flipping the visor up and down as the sun comes and goes, it blocks less of the driver’s view by only shading the necessary areas instead of the entire visor. The process is entirely hands-free so it also helps reduce distraction and keeps the driver’s hands on the wheel.
You won’t find the Virtual Visor in a car just yet, but Bosch indicated it’s already talking with automakers. In the near future, your new car could have a Virtual Visor that eliminates the need to flip the visor up and down for good.