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I was viewing a real player video about the new s class mercedes. it boasted a near infrared viewing system that had a camera mounted on the back of the rear view mirror anf a IR lamp to illuminate the forward view. Ther was a large video screen in the dash (black & white) They claimed viewing clearly at night 200 meters forward as opposed to the 50 meter limit of its convntional headlights.

I wonder if it would be possible to offer such an aftermarket package for the prius ( or a combo with the rear view aftermarket add on)-- I've already seen options offering video playback of movies on the forward screen- a real safety problem. But, a forward view of oncoming traffic to avoid animal collisions at night would add a safety benefit.

I wonder if near IR camera's (miniature) are on the market? An IR beam in the foglamp position would then be necessary and some way to attach it to the view screen so the forward view operated in D mode (not R)

Does this sound possible??
 

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All CCDs are infrared sensitive- the difference between an IR CCD camera and a daylight camera is usually that the daylight CCD has an IR filter placed in front of the CCD element. Removing this filter turns a daylight camera into an IR-capable camera (this was the subject of many camcorder hacks and then the manufacturers finally decided to make a switchable IR filter a standard feature- all the "night mode" settings on your camcorders are simply a switchable IR filter and a supplementary IR LED for illumination in really dark areas). It would be a fairly simple matter to remove the IR filter on a typical CCD camera module..

On your car though, you probably wouldn't even need any special IR illumination once the filter is removed- your regular headlights likely provide more than sufficient illumination into the IR region for good visibility..
 

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Mu cousin and I had fun with my Hi-8 about a decade and a half ago when we discovered the camcorder could see the IR remote output.
 
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