Bosch Unveils First Real Innovation for Sun Visors in a Century

by Aaron Turpen
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Bosch has unveiled a new Virtual Visor at the 2020 CES show in Las Vegas, Nevada. Aimed to reinvent the 95-year-old sun visor found in every automobile for decades, the Virtual Visor is a true safety innovation.

Citing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) studies showing that bright sun glare increases accident probability by 16 percent or more, Bosch engineers set out (on their own time) to rethink how we deal with the sun. Three powertrain engineers, working on their own time under an innovation initiative at Bosch, came up with the LCD-visor solution that’s won awards at CES this year and which promises to rethink safety in the simplest of ways.

The Virtual Visor is a clear LCD screen that mounts just as a traditional sun visor would and deploys in the same way. The driver (or passenger), however, do not have their view obstructed by the visor when it’s down. Instead, a user-facing camera and a little artificial intelligence to recognize facial features cue the visor to darken only where the sunlight is coming through and hitting the user’s eyes.

This creates a “raccoon eye” effect on the driver, cutting glare only where it’s entering the vehicle and affecting the driver. The rest of the driver’s vision remains unimpaired. Bosch’s Virtual Visor has already won the CES 2020 Innovation Awards Best of Innovation in the In-Vehicle Entertainment and Safety category.

That’s smart thinking right there.

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