Automatic lighting system with adaptive function

  • US 8,070,332 B2
  • Filed: 03/29/2011
  • Issued: 12/06/2011
  • Est. Priority Date: 07/12/2007
  • Status: Active Grant
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First Claim
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1. An automatic lighting system for a vehicle, said automatic lighting system comprising:

  • an imaging device for capturing image data, said imaging device having a field of view directed generally forwardly with respect to a forward direction of travel of the vehicle as the vehicle travels forwardly along a road;

    a control operable to process said image data captured by said imaging device in order to detect an object at least one of generally forwardly of the vehicle and generally sidewardly of the vehicle as the vehicle travels along the road and to determine if a detected object is an object of interest to a driver of the vehicle as the vehicle travels along the road present at least one of generally forwardly of the vehicle and generally sidewardly of the vehicle as the vehicle travels along the road;

    wherein said control is operable to determine if a detected object is an object of interest at least in part by determining at least one of (a) a size of the detected object, (b) a shape of the detected object, (c) a distance to the detected object, and (d) a direction toward the detected object;

    an illumination source operable to illuminate at least one of generally forwardly of the vehicle and generally sidewardly of the vehicle as the vehicle travels along the road, said illumination source comprising at least one lighting element;

    wherein said control is operable to flash at least one lighting element of said illumination source in response to a determination that a detected object is an object of interest; and

    wherein said imaging device is synchronized with flashing of said at least one lighting element of said illumination source to capture image data during a time period that said at least one lighting element of said illumination source is being flashed.

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