Ford has developed a technology that enables drivers to use their full beam headlights without dazzling other drivers.
Glare-Free Highbeam uses a windshield-mounted camera to detect the headlights or taillights of vehicles and bicycles up to 800m away at night, and uses specially developed headlights to block light that could otherwise temporarily blind other drivers and cyclists.
Driving with high-beam headlights enables drivers to see hazards in the road much earlier. And studies have shown that automated high-beam headlights are activated up to 10 times more than when drivers have to switch to high-beam themselves.
Edmund King OBE, AA President, said: “Road-users being dazzled by the use of vehicle full-beam is an increasing problem in the UK, and is said to be the cause of hundreds of road accidents and around 10 fatalities each year. Headlight technology is advancing rapidly, providing drivers with a greater field of vision and illumination on the road, but can cause an equal number of problems for other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians. It is testament to Ford for offering this advanced feature to their customers to help tackle the issue.”
“Ask any driver what the most annoying habits of other drivers are and sooner or later the subject of people who don’t dip their headlights will come up,” said Michael Koherr, research engineer, Lighting Systems, Ford of Europe.
“Ford’s new Glare-Free Highbeam helps maximise the use of high beam and means drivers can see significantly more of the road ahead – without causing any distraction to other road users.”
Glare-Free Highbeam works together with Ford’s Auto High Beam system, and Ford Dynamic LED headlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System, which can adjust the headlight beam angle and intensity to one of seven settings according to speed, ambient light, steering angle, distance to the vehicle in front and windscreen wiper activation. Ford’s automated lighting technologies are automatically activated when low ambient light conditions are detected.
“We found that some drivers are so concerned about dazzling other road users that they don’t use high beam at all,” Koherr said. “Ford’s Glare-Free Highbeam technology can remove that stress for drivers, and softly transitioning between settings also helps the driver’s eyes adjust faster to changing quantities of light.”