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Adaptive headlights on cars

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Adaptive headlights on cars

Old 02-15-24, 01:11 PM
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Adaptive headlights on cars

I live in the US, where regulations currently allow for adaptive headlights, but the specs are so strict that none of the systems currently available in the rest of the world can meet them. From what I've read, AHS (Adaptive Headlight Systems) use an array of LEDs that can be controlled independently to essentially allow for high beam use at all times, with the array sensing other (motor) vehicles on the road, and creating a dimmer lighting envelope around the vehicle to eliminate glare for other drivers.

Every article I've read touts reduced glare for other drivers, while allowing for increased visibility of pedestrians and cyclists. While this sounds great for all the drivers involved, I'm wondering about the blinding glare that would be encountered by pedestrians walking near the road, or cyclists operating on the road.

Since US standards are so strict as to essentially eliminate the option, I don't have any experience with AHS. Can anyone living where it is available comment on this?
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Old 02-28-24, 02:28 PM
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You've touched on a problem I've noticed for years.

Old style headlights had sophisticated lenses, combined with the ability to aim independently. This allowed light to be where needed without spilling beyond.

For example, my lights had a stepped cutoff pattern, lighting higher on the right to illuminate pedestrians and signs, and lower on the left to avoid blinding oncoming traffic.

Newer lights lack these optics, producing a conical beam similar to a flashlight, and are fixed to the car so they cannot be aimed precisely. They blind drivers, yet don't do a good job in the critical places on the right.

Adaptive is nice, if we assume that drivers are either too stupid or inconsiderate to drop high beams (and, yes, some are), but I greatly prefer to manage my own, and the loss of quality optics is a miserable tradeoff.

Last edited by FBinNY; 02-28-24 at 03:07 PM.
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Old 02-28-24, 03:40 PM
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I could swear this o.p. with the exact same wording was thrashed just recently. Hmmm. There is no way that a lighting system can predict and/or react to the complex rolling and jouncing motions of a car at speed on the road. We just don't have computers fast enough ... well we do have those but, really, just how much computer horsepower do you really want to put behind a ... headlight. That's why probably every post in this thread had to be deleted. It's a triggering o.p. that is bound to get people riled and bothered as they try to ponder the imponderable.

Nor do I agree that modern headlights no longer have shaped beams. They do. But modern vehicles are DOUBLE the height above the ground as legacy transportation and the mix of the two creates the problem. "Low" beam on a late model F150 is shining right into the cabin of a mid-90's Honda Accord. I remember the days when you would be pulled over and cited for having an improperly aimed headlight or just one operating headlight. I routinely see operators with NO headlights and, of course, I see the hooligans with the blue tinted 6000L HID lights AND blue tinted foglights running as well. LEO doesn't get near those folk. But I'm at a loss to know where this thread is going. I do think the earlier iteration tried to tie it to bicycling somehow.
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Old 02-28-24, 07:32 PM
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Audi & Ford are the worst for blinding others.
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Old 02-29-24, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Troul
Audi & Ford are the worst for blinding others.
Ahemů you forgot the Tesla SUV.
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