Automotive

Ford's Glare-Free Highbeam does the dipping for you

The LED lights create a dark spot around cars that might otherwise be blinded
The LED lights create a dark spot around cars that might otherwise be blinded
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Ford's anti-glare headlamps use a camera to determine where other vehicles are, then adapts the beam to avoid dazzling them
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Ford's anti-glare headlamps use a camera to determine where other vehicles are, then adapts the beam to avoid dazzling them
The system works in tandem with Ford's Dynamic LED lights
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The system works in tandem with Ford's Dynamic LED lights
The system allows drivers to make the most of full beam more often than they usually would
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The system allows drivers to make the most of full beam more often than they usually would
The LED lights create a dark spot around cars that might otherwise be blinded
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The LED lights create a dark spot around cars that might otherwise be blinded
The camera responds to headlamps and taillamps, as well as cyclists
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The camera responds to headlamps and taillamps, as well as cyclists

Drivers who spend lots of time traversing dark highways will know how much of a difference flicking the high-beams on can make, but there's always the risk that you'll forget to dip them for oncoming traffic. Ford's new Glare-Free Highbeam system is aimed at tackling the problem by tracking other road users and adapting the shape of the beam to spare them a case of flash blindness.

Just like Volvo's anti-dazzle headlamps and Mercedes' adaptive high-beam assistant, Ford's system uses a camera mounted behind the windscreen to detect the headlights or taillights of cars and bikes up to 800 m (2,625 ft) up the road. When another vehicle is detected, the system communicates with the car's dynamic LED headlamps, which then adjust the headlight beam intensity and angle.

Just how much adjustment the Glare-Free system makes to the beam is calculated based on speed, the amount of ambient light around, steering angle, how far away the car in front is and whether or not the windscreen wipers are activated.To make sure drivers don't miss out on the benefits of the system, it's automatically activated in low light, which means you don't need to be particularly bright to use it.

"We found that some drivers are so concerned about dazzling other road users that they don't use high beam at all," says Ford research engineer, Michael Koherr. "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."

The system is available on the new S-Max and Galaxy, and will also feature on the upcoming Edge SUV.

The video below gives an overview of the system.

Source: Ford

High-beam headlights that don’t dazzle

6 comments
Mel Tisdale
Have a universal standard where headlamp glasses are polarized at 90 degrees to vehicle windscreens, but polarized in line with all other exterior vehicle lights (source Edwin Land). No sensors to fail and thus, by definition: 'fail-safe'.
DCL
When I was young, about 60 years ago, I rode in a car that had self-dipping headlights. There was a gadget on the dashboard with a photo sensor focused on the road ahead. Worked well! Just because something us rediscovered doesn't make it new, just forgotten.
Grainpaw
Next we need an automatic fog light control that will keep the fog lights off unless fog or heavy snow is detected. I drive a low car. When someone approaches with fog lights and low beams on, I see twice as much glare, and lose the ability to tell where my lane is, or what is in it, like deer, potholes, or curves.
Island Architect
Great idea! Reminds me of my Fiat 124 Spyder. I put pencil beams on it and when building the Center for Creative Studies driving home to the Goetsch Winkler house, I would have truck drivers flashing me from a mile away. ;D
Stephen N Russell
Lisc & mass praoduce for all auto truck makers alone
ChristianHostettler
good on the straight - won't work in curves