Ford prototypes new GPS-assisted adaptive headlights

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Ford has developed prototypes of a new generation of curve-adaptive headlamps that are aided from above. No, it is not divine intervention, and yes, you must go to the light.

The Ford Research and Advanced Engineering Europe team has added a new layer to the classic concept of turn signals: GPS. Using real-time location data, this new headlamp system can predictively adapt to an upcoming turn, even faster than allowed by previous technologies, which relied largely on visible signals (signs, etc.) and old-fashioned driver input.

“The predictive lighting technology we are developing now means that driving in the dark could one day be as easy as tracking your headlights,” said Michael Koherr, Ford of Europe lighting engineer. “This new map and location system is the next step in our quest to make driving at night no more difficult or stressful than during the day.”

In addition, this new location-based technology can be integrated with existing systems to enable better predictive behavior without sacrificing the benefits of using real-time environmental information; it is not an either / or proposal.

That this remains a European idea may not bode well for future American adoption. Overseas automakers have shown that US headlight regulations can be a tough nut to crack with their efforts to get their matrix headlights approved by the NHTSA.