Driving at night can be challenging. Night vision is an excellent vehicle add-on to help drivers be more aware of the road at night. You may be wondering what SUVs offer a built-in night vision system. Lucky for you, we researched this very topic, so you can make an informed decision on your next vehicle purchase.
Night vision is a relatively new safety feature typically available in luxury vehicles. Here are some of the most popular SUVs with a night vision option in the newest models:
- Audi Q7
- Volkswagen Touareg
- BMW X5
- Cadillac Escalade
- Jeep Grand Cherokee
You probably still have questions about the night vision systems in these cars. Keep reading to find out more information about each vehicle.
What Is Automotive Night Vision?
First, let's take a look at what having night vision in a car actually means. Vehicle night vision alerts drivers of objects located in the road or path in front of them. This works because of an infrared sensor typically located in the front grille of the car. This sensor captures video in the infrared light spectrum to see large figures at night before the driver can see them in the headlights.
In many SUVs, this infrared camera plays back its images on a dashboard display. Vehicles with night vision also have special algorithms programmed with the sensor to detect humans, large animals, and more. Many models send out alerts depending on the object the night vision technology sees.
Active Vs. Passive Vehicle Night Vision
Vehicles either have active or passive night vision systems. They are both helpful and protect drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and animals at night.
Active night vision uses an infrared illuminator, which is a cluster of sensors that acts like a headlamp. This group of sensors is powerful enough to light up the whole road in the infrared spectrum. This type of night vision produces clearer images, but it cannot see as far as passive night vision.
Passive night vision is the most common technology carmakers use to make their vehicles see in the dark. It mainly relies on heat to detect large objects. The images are typically displayed in the negative form, with warm objects displayed in lighter colors. They have a longer detection range but don't work as well in hot weather.
SUVs With Night Vision
Now, let's look at some of the most popular full and mid-sized SUVs with night vision options. Keep in mind that most of these SUVs only have night vision in the newest or very recent models of the vehicle. Also, it is important to note that adding built-in night vision to any vehicle increases the price. Night vision technology is not the standard on any basic SUV model yet.
Mid-Size SUVs With Night Vision
Mid-size SUVs are roomy vehicles with plenty of storage and leg space for passengers. Unlike full-size SUVs, they only have two rows of seating typically. They make a great car for small families, and night vision helps keep everyone safe.
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Audi has a patented night vision system in many of its vehicles. The Audi Q7 is one of their most popular night vision models. With a 24 degree field of view and a housing window that is cleaned by a special nozzle and automatically heated when cold, the night vision on the Audi Q7 is one of the best in the market. It also features lane assistance, adaptive cruise, and many more driver safety features.
If you want to find more SUVs with lane assistance, check out this blog post: Which SUVs Have Lane Keep Assistance?
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This Volkswagen model is only available outside of the US, but it is the company's first SUV to be equipped with night vision assist. Volkswagen is sure to add this feature to many other SUV models in the upcoming years. You can now add night vision to all Touareg models. There are also options for other great driver assistance features like light assist, park assist, and more.
For more information on parking assistance in SUVs, check out this blog post: Which SUVs Have Front Parking Sensors?
The BMW X5 is a luxury midsize SUV loaded with high-tech features. The BMW night vision system uses passive night vision and sends the driver alerts if a person or animal is detected. It complements the unique Dynamic Light Spot technology. This safety feature causes a special headlight beam to direct its light towards the detected object, so the driver is more likely to see it.
Full-Sized SUVs With Night Vision
Full-sized SUVs are the vehicle of choice for large families. With three rows of seating and extra storage space, the whole family can comfortably travel together. Night vision technology helps you get to wherever you need to go safely.
The Cadillac Escalade offers night vision technology in the Premium Luxury, Sport, Premium Luxury Platinum, and Sports Platinum models. The passive night vision detects heat using infrared technology to help drivers stay alert. The Escalade also has other safety features, including blind-spot detection, land keep assist, auto emergency braking, and many more.
If you want to find other SUVs with blind-spot detection, check out this blog post: "What SUVs Have Blind Spot Detection? [2021 Midsize And Full-Size]
Jeep Grand Cherokee
The new 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee has night vision in the Overland and Summit models. Their special night vision technology increases the reach of the headlight when large objects are detected. These two Cherokee models also have intersection collision assist, drowsy driver detection, and many more cool features.
How Far Can Night Vision Cameras See?
Automotive night vision cameras have a wide range in their viewing distances. It all depends on the type of night vision technology and the model of the camera sensors. Night vision visibility ranges from 10 to 300 meters (33 to 1,000 feet).
Typically, active night vision sensors see 150 to 200 meters (394 to 656 feet) ahead. Passive night vision sensors may see up to 300 meters (nearly 1,000 feet). Of course, visibility depends on weather conditions as well. In inclement weather, the range of a night vision sensor will be shorter than on a clear night.
Does Night Vision Work In Snow?
Night vision works in light snowfall. However, if you are driving in a blizzard, don't rely on your built-in night vision to help you see farther ahead. Any extreme weather reduces the effectiveness of night vision greatly.
How Do I Add Night Vision To My Car?
If the company of your car has night vision technology available for your make and model, they may be able to add it to your vehicle after you buy it. You should contact a dealer to find out if installing night vision is an option for you.
If you have an older vehicle or a vehicle that doesn't offer the option to have built-in night vision, there are night vision cameras you can buy and install yourself. Typically these cameras are lower quality, and some are not even infrared cameras. They are normally powered by your cigarette lighter and come with a display screen for you to place in a convenient location. The camera typically mounts to your dashboard or suction cups to your windshield. It is up to you to choose where to place it.
Kingslim Mirror Dash Cam
This dash camera is for day and night time use. It also tracks GPS and includes a 12" touchscreen. It's easy to install and a great option for a night vision camera. Click here to view it on Amazon.
COOAU Dash Cam
This full HD camera is for inside and outside use during the day or night. It even uses infrared sensors to help with nighttime viewing. Click here to view it on Amazon.
Be Safe During Nighttime Driving
The above mid-size and full-size SUVs all help drivers stay safe at night. Their special infrared night vision sensors detect people and animals before headlights can. Protect yourself, your passengers, pedestrians, and wildlife when you choose a vehicle with night vision.