If you've ever driven on a poorly-illuminated road and struggled with having your high beams on without dazzling other drivers, Ford has come up with a solution.
Ford's new Glare-Free Highbeam system works by utilizing a windshield-mounted camera to detect headlights or taillights of vehicles and even bicycles, at distances of up to 800 meters during the night. Then, the specially developed headlights will block the light that could otherwise temporarily blind other motorists.
Studies have shown that automated high-beam headlights are activated up to 10 times more than when drivers have to do the switch manually, which pretty much makes the case for having this type of system in your car versus having to do things manually.
"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 Ford research engineer Michael Koherr. "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."
The new tech works together with Ford's Auto High Beam system and with Ford's Dynamic LED highlights with Adaptive Front Lighting System, which can adjust the headlight beam angle and intensity to one of seven settings, based on speed, ambient light, steering angle, distance to the vehicle in front and even windscreen wiper activation.
"We found that some drivers are so concerned about dazzling other road users that they don’t use high beam at all," added 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 American automaker is also developing other advanced lighting technologies which are meant to improve visibility at roundabouts, stop signs and yield signs, and draw the driver's attention to pedestrians, cyclists and even large animals - whether in the vehicle's direct path or just off the road.
The new Glare-Free Highbeam system is now available on the all-new Ford S-Max, the Galaxy and the forthcoming Edge SUV.