Smart Headlights

They have them in Europe and in Canada, now the United States will be able to have smart headlights too, thanks to a recent ruling by the Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration—NHTSA, something I didn’t even know existed. Smart headlights are a technology which relies on sensors and LED. What they do is focus to illumine dark  and unoccupied areas and reduce intensity of illumination when there is oncoming traffic.  It all sounds so welcome, I suspect  we’ve all had the experience of being blinded by traffic from the other side or not seeing certain areas well enough. Smart headlights will prevent crashes by better illuminating pedestrians, animals, and other objects without impairing the visibility of drivers.   In 2019 research from the American Automobile Association found that the roadway illumination of the European cars with the adaptive beam headlight system—the formal name for smart headlights— increased by 86%  when compared with the usual US cars on low beams. It may not sound like a big deal but it seems to me that it will make night driving not only much safer but much easier. In my neighborhood where streets are narrower than on main thoroughfares, coming home late and looking out for people who are too busy looking at their phones while walking their dogs will soon be that much less frustrating. I don’t know how long it will take for car makers in the US to install this technology into new models, but like rear cameras they are an exciting addition.

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