Chicago Auto Show Blog

Light bright, making things with infrared light

Posted by: Mark Bilek

Night VisionThere's no arguing that today's vehicles are extremely safe. Technology has made sure of that, what with antilock brakes, airbags, blind-spot alert, lane-departure warning, back-up cameras . . . the list goes on and on. One oft-forgotten safety feature that not only helps keep occupants safe but also helps keep pedestrians safe is night vision.

Pioneered by General Motors and Raytheon and first seen in the 2000 Cadillac deVille and Concours, NightVision utilizes an infrared camera and a dashboard display to paint a fairly well-detailed black & white picture the road ahead. Because it utilizes differences in temperature to define objects, people and animals appear as bright shapes and trees and houses are somewhat subdued.

From behind the wheel, night vision can initially be a little overwhelming. However, drivers quickly learn to process the additional information and night vision then provides a driver with valuable information about the path ahead well in front of the headlamps' illumination range. Cadillac owners raved about the system, but we're put off by the high cost.

Though Cadillac no longer offers night vision on its vehicles, similar systems can be found in Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi vehicles. These systems have been refined and improved to actually identify pedestrians and warn when a pedestrian is in danger of impact. By creating a flash of light and warning icon, drivers can keep their eyes focused on the road.

Autoliv, producer of night vision systems for Audi and BMW vehicles is attempting to further improve night vision systems by allowing it to identify and warn of potential animal impacts. That's a big deal to people here in the Midwest, where deer roam the interstates at night and are responsible for more than 1.7 million animal-to-auto impacts nationwide.

What does this mean to the auverage car buyer?

Not much if you're in the market for a $15,000 Ford Focus. But costs for this technology are quickly coming down and that means night vision should be available in more mainstream automobiles in the near future. If you haven't had the opportunity to see night vision in action, it's worth a look.


« Last Post Next Post »

View all Posts from this Blog

Follow Us Socially Using #CAS16



Friday, November, 13, 2015

Ford Edge Night Out

Ford’s Edge Unstoppable tour recently paid a visit to Chicago for an #EdgeNightOut. The event featured some ...

Tuesday, November, 10, 2015

Tacoma Comes Out to Play

Toyota’s corporate manager for truck operations, Rick LoFaso, shared details on the all-new Tacoma during the ...

Saturday, November, 07, 2015

Truly Grand Opening!

Usually when a dealership holds a grand opening, it's celebrating a new building or a new location, but in the ...

Tuesday, October, 20, 2015

Mazda Drive for Good Program Returns

Now through Oct. 28, Mazda and NBCUniversal are encouraging people to nominate an organization or individual who is ...

Monday, October, 19, 2015

BMW takes Uber Users for a Ride in the Forthcoming BMW 7 Series

Today only, BMW and Uber are giving Chicagoans the ride of a lifetime – to be among the first to experience ...

Tuesday, October, 13, 2015

Fall Rally Picks: MAMA Family Vehicle of the Year

Each year during the Chicago Auto Show Media Preview, the Midwest Automotive Media Association (MAMA) hosts a ...

Friday, October, 09, 2015

Jeep and Ram Blaze the Trail

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) took MAMA members on a wild ride this past week at the Midwest Automotive Media ...

Friday, October, 09, 2015

Mazda Likes the Power of 3

Mazda is one automaker that follows its own road. For years the Asian iconoclast has built cars that are fun to ...

Thursday, October, 08, 2015

Scion Gets Back to Its Roots

Toyota’s youth-oriented division recently launched two new small cars for 2016, the subcompact iA sedan and ...

Tuesday, September, 29, 2015

Honda, Not Your Average Car Company

In a recent ad campaign Honda has outdone itself. This ad stands out because it highlights Honda’s many ...


11/30/2015 8:32:03 AM

#MovieSceneMonday! What car took the Griswolds cross-country in the 1983 National Lampoons Vacation? #classic

11/28/2015 1:23:04 PM

Already excited for The Chicago Auto Show! #resnickautogroup

11/26/2015 8:33:05 AM

Today is a day for giving thanks to those who matter most. So we'd like to thank all of the Chicago Auto Show fans and wish you a Happy Thanksgiving! #HappyThanksgiving

11/25/2015 1:38:13 PM

This just in: #CAS16 ticket sales are NOW LIVE! Tag a friend you want to bring to the nation's largest auto show, the Chicago Auto Show (Feb. 13-21), and we'll select one winner each day this week to get free tickets! #TagAFriend

11/25/2015 1:09:38 PM

I really like the new website! Looks great

11/25/2015 9:30:18 AM

In light of #GivingTuesday approaching, if you're planning to donate to any of these 18 local charities this holiday season, consider purchasing a First Look for Charity ticket to get a first look of the nation's largest auto show amid opulence! Visit for more details. #FLFC16

11/23/2015 10:10:45 AM

We asked you to cast your votes for the look of the 2016 Chicago Auto Show, and the jury is in! The official poster this year will be #3

11/23/2015 8:03:04 AM

Starting today (through Jan. 4, 2016), Mazda will donate $150 to a local charity of your choice for every new car purchased or leased through its #MazdaDrive4Good program. Visit to find a dealership near you. To learn more, visit:

11/20/2015 9:30:03 PM

When do tickets go on sale online??? I know it says mid-November on the site...sorry if this has been answered

11/20/2015 8:28:06 AM

Flashback Friday! Did you know? Chicago’s Coliseum was home to the Chicago Auto Show from 1901-1935, where general admission for the public was just 50 cents per ticket


11/30/2015 11:21:39 AM

RT @ChiAutoShow: #MovieSceneMonday: what car took the Griswolds cross-country in the 1983 National Lampoons Vacation? #classic

11/30/2015 9:09:25 AM

@ChiAutoShow The Family Truckster

11/30/2015 8:46:01 AM

RT @ChiAutoShow: #MovieSceneMonday: what car took the Griswolds cross-country in the 1983 National Lampoons Vacation? #classic

11/30/2015 8:37:56 AM

@chiautoshow Truckster (spell checker)

11/30/2015 8:37:31 AM

@chiautoshow Family Trickster

11/30/2015 8:34:59 AM

@ChiAutoShow Family Truckster

11/30/2015 8:34:01 AM

#MovieSceneMonday: what car took the Griswolds cross-country in the 1983 National Lampoons Vacation? #classic

11/27/2015 2:03:54 PM

RT @zanymomintx: @ChiAutoShow So...when we get ice in Houston, it's important not to park your cars outside! #FuelCAS

11/26/2015 3:52:09 PM

@ChiAutoShow same here thanks

11/26/2015 3:21:58 PM

The Daily Hoon Twitter Recap is out! Stories via @ChiAutoShow @PrancingHorse27 @autosportnewsf1