US Legislation change to finally allow advanced headlight technology
The kind of tech that’s already been implemented elsewhere for yearsby Andrei Nedelea, on
Headlights have been getting increasingly complex and advanced in the way they work, especially since it became feasible to use LED technology which made self-dimming adaptive beams a reality. But not in the United States where the law has not permitted the use of such advanced lighting techniques on public roads.
That’s set to change now, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) which is proposing to finally allow them on new cars sold Stateside, stating that such tech “has the potential to reduce the risk of crashes by increasing visibility without increasing glare.”
In case you may not have seen how they operate, modern adaptive headlight units can now be left on high beam all the time when driving at night, and the cleverest ones can actually block out an oncoming car but keep shining light around it.
Several manufacturers who have such tech on offer (Audi and Toyota in particular) have been asking the NHTSA to look into the matter for years, which it did back in 2015 when it published a report after extensive testing of adaptive headlights which concluded that they were genuinely useful and enhanced safety.
In Europe, you can get some form of adaptive headlights even in cheaper cars now.
However, these more rudimentary systems simply turn the high beams on and off depending on if there’s anything coming the other way, and multi-beam matrix-style headlights are still reserved for more expensive vehicles.
Now that the NHTSA has concluded that “it offers potentially significant safety benefits in avoiding collisions with pedestrians, cyclists, animals, and roadside objects” it’s clear they will be looking to make their use in the U.S. legal in the near future.
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