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By K.C. CRAIN | Automotive News

Soldiers aren't the only ones who can see in the dark.

Now, wannabe desert raiders who own the civilian Hummer H1 can buy a night vision system similar to the unit used in the military Humvee.

Raytheon Commercial Infared, a business unit of Raytheon Co., has designed a $5,000 system called Nightdriver that can be installed at Hummer dealerships.

This is General Motors' second adoption of a Raytheon night vision system. The Cadillac DeVille has a factory-installed option that sells for $2,750.

Nightdriver allows motorists to see objects in the road up to 1,500 feet away. But it does not have the resolution or range of its military cousin, which can spot a vehicle up to 3,960 feet away.

Raytheon's thermal imaging technology senses heat emitted from objects, then produces an infared image of the scene. The objects' heat signatures are converted into shades of black and white. So a car with the engine running will have a brighter image than a parked vehicle.

The images are displayed on a mirror mounted from the Hummer's headliner, within the driver's peripheral view. The driver would use it the way he uses a rear-view mirror, glancing periodically at the screen to check for obstacles.

The military version - called the driver's vision enhancer - is the sole source of visual information for military drivers. In theory, a driver can use it to maneuver a Humvee off-road with the headlights turned off.

A flat-panel screen in front of the driver produces black-and-white images similar to those produced by the civilian version.

The DeVille's night-vision image is projected by the vehicle's head-up display. That display appears on the windshield, rather than on a drop-down mirror as in the Hummer.

Gabriel,
2001 CL Type S
2001 Lexus RX300 Silversport
 

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That would have been so great for running from the cops at dockers in high school.

this in deference to everyone who insists on putting a load of crap at the end of everything they say' - Dr Tom Dowling
 

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Dude, soon our enemies are just going to start buying our cars! GPS, night vision!!! Cool for us though!


2003 G35 Coupe (on order)
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