Maschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AGMaschinenfabrik Berthold Hermle AG

Marius Gaus wins first prize in the regional heat with the "Local Light Absorber" project

"Jugend forscht" is Germany's best-known contest for young talented achievers. The aim is to get young people fascinated by mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology, and to find and promote talent. 120 contests are held nationwide every year.

Marius Gaus, one of our students, also took up the challenge and made us all very proud due to his FIRST PRIZE in the regional heat.

About two thirds of all weather-related road accidents are caused by sun glare. Every driver is familiar with being blinded by the sun even though you have lowered your sun visor. This visor no longer helps when the sun is very low, and it also obscures a large part of your view. Car manufacturers tried to solve these problems with dimmable windscreens. This technology detects bright light and darkens the entire windscreen to ensure drivers are not dazzled. However, as with sunglasses, there is the problem that your entire field of vision is darkened, making it even harder for drivers to see already dark areas.

"I'd thought about how this problem could be solved a few years ago," says Marius Gaus. "My idea was to only darken the area where the driver is actually dazzled and to leave the rest of the windscreen completely transparent. The "Local Light Absorber" project that I came up with uses a camera to detect light sources that dazzle the driver while driving and darkens them by locally dimming the windscreen. Other, possibly dark areas in the field of vision are not dimmed, which obviously increases overall driving safety. I built a model of a windscreen. An LCD panel is built into the windscreen and controlled by a computer that processes the camera images."

"The panel of an LCD (the component in a monitor that makes the colours) is like a transparent pane that can change colour. Because it's transparent, I can attach it behind the windscreen to darken the windscreen wherever I want," Marius Gaus explains further.

"A black dot is simply displayed there to ensure no more light comes through the windscreen. I've written a program that evaluates the images from the camera and darkens the LCD at the appropriate position. And seeing as I have neither the financial nor the technical means to install an LCD panel in the windscreen of a real car, I had to limit the project to a smaller model, but with exactly the same functions.

The local dimming windscreen model is designed to increase road safety by preventing the driver from being dazzled while driving. But there's still a long way to go before this type of technology can actually be installed in a car. The price will be very high at the start, as with any new automotive technology.

I already took part in the 'Jugend forscht 2020' contest with this project and came first in the regional heat. Unfortunately, the following state level contest was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

That's why I decided to take part again in this year. And all the hard work paid off, as I came first once again. Now I can take part in the state level contest in Heilbronn at the end of March. This contest, like the regional heat, will take place online."

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