Ford Headlights Breakthrough Illegal in U.S.

Ford Headlights Breakthrough Illegal in U.S.
Headlight Falcon Photography / Flickr CC BY-SA 2.0
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Ford announced recently that it is developing advanced headlights technology that can automatically point to people or animals in the dark. The technology also allows for the headlights to widen beams at risky junctions. However, the revolutionary technology may not make it to the U.S. as per a policy that dates back to 1968.


Camera-Based Advanced Front Lighting System

Ford announced that it is developing an advanced lighting technology that enables drivers to easily see potential hazards during nighttime driving. The technology, called the Camera-Based Advanced Front Lightning System, can widen beams at junctions and roundabouts after interpreting traffic signs, the company said in its announcement.

Headlights of such technology use GPS-enabled system front-facing camera that is capable of remembering roadways and direct lighting to help drivers better see bends in the road. The infra-red cameras will also be able to detect pedestrians, cyclists, and animals, and highlight the potential hazards. The advanced system can detect up to eight potential hazards and highlight two highest priorities using specially designed headlights and on-screen display.

“Many people who drive at night have had to quickly react to someone or something suddenly appearing in the road – as if from nowhere. Ford’s Camera-Based Advanced Front Lighting System and Spot Lighting help ensure the driver is quickly alerted to people or animals that could present a danger,” said Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering.

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“Camera-Based Advanced Front Lighting can help make it easier for the driver to travel at night in unfamiliar surroundings, and to more easily see unexpected hazards. At roundabouts, for example, our system helps the driver to clearly see the exits – and check if cyclists and pedestrians are crossing the road,” said Michael Koherr, research engineer, Lighting Systems, Ford of Europe.

Ford Headlights illegal in U.S.

Unfortunately for U.S. car users, the recent breakthrough from Ford may not make it to the country. According to Mashable, headlights are “technically illegal” in the country as per policy from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or NHTSA that dates back to 1968. The policy required for all cars sold in the U.S. to have high and low beams that are directly controlled by the drivers.

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